The Paperless Classroom: Brilliant or Insane?

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Via Flickr creative commons

Via Flickr creative commons

Okay, I’ll admit that this post might be a bit self-serving, since I teach online courses under the title, The Paperless Classroom. But the post isn’t about online courses; it’s about teaching K-12 students in a paperless classroom — one that uses web tools and mobile devices, in lieu of notebooks and pens.

The idea, as always, is to decide if the topic is brilliant or insane (be sure to vote below). As more and more schools embrace Bring Your Own Device movements and begin to purchase more technology, paper seems to be hurtling toward obsolescence. Mobile apps, like Kindle and iBooks, are constantly adding to their libraries.

Students can now create and manage content online with virtually any device with an Internet connection. Scheduling, project planning, media production, research and note-taking can be easily done with any of a huge assortment of available applications.

The observation that paper use is hard on our natural resources seems obvious. Still, some researchers remain steadfast in their arguments that writing on paper is still the best way to internalize information for future recall. Others contend that the technology is still too expensive and poor wireless connections at school can make learning cumbersome.

So what’s the answer? Is the paperless classroom brilliant, or is it insane? Cast your vote below. 

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Mark Barnes is the author of many education books, including Bestseller Hacking Education, part of his Hack Learning Series, books that solve big problems with simple ideas. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and student-centered learning. Join more than 100,000 interested educators who follow @markbarnes19 on Twitter.
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