Editorial: Paper shortage calls for a turn to technology

Over the last month, Schreiber’s urge to use a minimal amount of paper has become evident.  While teachers are not being forced by the school to stop using paper by any means, they are being encouraged to consider the amount of paper that they are using when printing out worksheets, study guides, and tests for their students.

If one teacher wants to print out a packet for one subject, they could end up needing hundreds of pieces of paper, which are all eventually thrown out.  Thus, searching for a solution to our paper usage is extremely important since thousands of pieces of paper are wasted over the course of one academic year.

However, this suggested limit on paper usage has been impacting students and their studies; packets are taking longer to print and students do not have extra scrap paper when taking tests.  Therefore, the school needs to find a healthy medium between conserving paper and accommodating for students’ needs.

There is another method to reduce the usage of paper without jeopardizing students’ studies: technology.  Luckily, there are small changes teachers can make that will not transform the way they go about running their classroom.  For instance, teachers can have students submit their assignments to the online service Turnitin, rather than have students write out their assignments.

If teachers need students to read a specific article, they can send students the link through the Remind App, which students can access right on their cellphones.  Or, they can set up a Google Classroom assignment and post all of the necessary links to their class page. 

Clearly, turning to technology for test-taking would not be efficient, but other implications can ultimately reduce the amount of paper while not placing academics at risk.

In fact, Schreiber as a whole has begun trying to use less paper, such as the huge TVs in the hallway which are used daily to display announcements.  This is an efficient step in the right direction because it eliminates the need for flyers, brochures, or other paper announcement mediums.

Although it can be argued that having a dependence on technology could place those who cannot afford a computer at a disadvantage, there are various ways to ensure that no students are placed at a disadvantage.  For instance, students are able to take out Chromebooks in the library during off periods and can use these laptops to complete such online assignments.  In addition, students can spend time in rooms with available computers, such as the social studies resource room.  There are also computers available at the public library, which is open after school.  

Still, it would be better if Schreiber allowed students to rent out computers after school for a night or the weekend.  This way, students who do not have a computer could have access to one at all times.

Schreiber is already taking measures to lower paper usage at the administrative level.  The Schreiber Times hopes that these methods will be brought directly into classrooms as well.