Classroom Technology: Next-Gen EdTech Solution To Go Paperless

Integrated Classroom Technology In EdTech

Students’ lives at school begin with morning prayers offered to the almighty, followed by class attendance. The attendance is noted in a 96-page attendance register. Next, students submit their homework to the class captain. Homework constitutes 5 pages for each subject, and 7 subjects make 5*7= 35 pages homework.

The first class begins with the teacher passing handouts that contain an essential summary of the chapter to be taught. The handout consists of 3 pages and additional 2-page notes taken in the class book. Following is the class of Math, which requires more and more practice, calculative rough-work, and some almond boosted brainpower. The average Math rough-work is up to 3 pages and classwork is 5 pages.

Students enjoy art and drawing classes the most. A minimum of 5 to 8 pages are consumed in craft/artwork. In recess, along with having snacks from their lunchboxes, students indulge in playing Tic Tac Toe with their friends. Paper games may consume up to 12 pages, more than the classwork of three periods.

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Post break, students visit the school library to find a book for the research of their science project. Meanwhile, they come across the latest novel of their favorite author and they borrow the book immediately. The research book is 200 pages and the novel consists of 586 pages, from which students might read 25 pages a day.

Mid-day school time is taken by language classes where teachers make students write glossaries, synonyms, and grammar rules. Language notes can take up to 5 pages per chapter. And two such language classes each day make it 10 pages of paperwork. The last hour at school is used for the annual day preparation and practice by all students. Here, students in our context are participating in drama. A drama script needs to be worked out and students rewrite the script 4-5 times. This makes use of 10-12 pages of paper. The final 7-page copy needs to be photocopied 12 times to be distributed among all drama participants. Thus, it makes a total of 84 pages used.

From the above school day activities performed by students, we can say that one student utilizes (consumes) 96+35+3+2+3+5+12+25+10+84= 275 pages (on average) in a single day. Now, to calculate the school strength, an average-sized school will contain around 2000 students, meaning the number of pages used by a school will be 275*2000= 550,000 pages approximately in a day. And for 250 school working days, 550,000*250= 137,500,000 = 137,5 million pages approximately. Also, consider the fact that it calls a cutdown of 12 trees to produce 1 ton of paper, and 200,000 A4-size paper sheets weigh 1 ton (1000 kilograms). Meaning, the production of 200,000 pages needs 12 trees to cut down, and hence, 137,500,000 pages demand 8250 trees to cut down.

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Imagine, this is just the count for one school. What if we count the pages used by all schools across the globe along with considering the paperwork done by school administrations, examinations, project work, and others? Isn’t that devastating? Don’t you want to put a halt to this ruthless environmental degradation by going paperless using classroom technology and education automation?

Having seen the current scenario of educational institutions across the globe, let us consider paperless alternatives to be implemented in different functions of schools and universities by using educational classroom technology for a greener environment and blended learning through collaborative classrooms.

Different Functions Of Schools And Universities With Paperless Alternatives

For ages, the pre-exam time has demanded new stationery items like writing pads, rough books for practice, pencils, erasers, sharpeners, rulers, etc. And on the day of exams, it’s the competition among students for who will write more supplements. The current education system focuses more on theoretical knowledge requiring students to write long answers to gain better marks. Many students just keep adding supplements to keep up with competing friends, even if they have written just a word in a double-paged additional supplement.

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Poorly, many are not even able to fill the entire main answer sheet. However, they forward the (majorly blank) sheet for checking. These exam papers are needed at regular intervals like quarterly, in the mid-term, semester-wise, annually for all school students, that too separate question papers and answer papers. Also, teachers are mostly under an obligation to safeguard these answer papers from coffee stains, which is a difficult task.

Exams On Personal Digital Devices/Computers

Why not exams be conducted online on computers? That would surely help us save a large number of trees from being cut. Most schools today have adequate computer devices, or else students are provided with personal digital devices for learning aids. Surely, schools and colleges can use classroom technology to conduct examinations. Though this advanced change will require educational apps, AI, advanced surveillance techniques, and an internet connection, schools will be more benefited from accepting the advancing classroom technology. Also, it shall simplify teachers’ botherations of safeguarding bundles of answer sheets.

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Students today need a better evaluation system that gauges their intelligence over cramming power. Comprehensive testing software that includes logical strength and AI assistance should be adopted by the EdTech industry. However, there will still be some drawbacks in this paperless examination system, like inconsistent internet connectivity, multi-device support, system failures, etc. But, newer methods in classroom technology are searched for in accordance. Learnosity is an example of online testing software.

Textbooks are the Bible for students. They may fight with their mother if she says against their textbooks. Yet, every year they need to upgrade their Bibles. Textbooks are resourceful pages of knowledge that lead students to the truth and to their aimed successive grades. But wait; does knowledge cost? These papers of knowledge (textbooks) surely cost parents a big penny. Every year parents spend a lot of money on school textbooks and workbooks only to find their learning children demanding more of such knowledge books.

Surely, knowledge needs a medium to convey itself, but why does it necessarily have to be costing the environment (paper from trees)? The pool of knowledge can be shared among students through digital mediums in EdTech. While each student today is carrying a learning tablet with them, they can be rendered eBooks and PDFs that include their curriculum/syllabus. The student generation is more comfortable and familiar with using classroom technology, educational apps, and gadgets as compared to books.

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Also, instead of allocating memory space on each student’s personal device, these eBooks and PDFs can be made available on the cloud, from where students can access them anytime on demand. Paper books are prone to be lost, ripped, burned, or buried; but naughty students cannot give teachers the excuse of a lost eBook. Additionally, imparting knowledge to students via education technology will forgive the sins that schools have been forging on students over decades of causing backaches due to heavy bags full of textbooks. Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Reader can be the best tools for paperless books.

B Calkins/Shutterstock.com

Attendance has always been a critical pain point for students, guardians, teachers, and schools. Many discussions and debates have been conducted on the very question of the attendance marking system. However, why should paper suffer in this crunch? Even schools are not insisting now on keeping paper records of attendance. Paper is a medium of boosting creativity and not scribbling hasty impressions.

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LMS Integration/Biometric

Schools using a learning management system can integrate classroom attendance in an LMS software. Other methods such as biometric attendance, iris recognition, or e-signature can also be used instead of traditional attendance journals. On a practical note, this can save up to fifteen minutes of the first class in a school day. Time is, after all, the most valuable asset in students’ lives. Canvas LMS is an example of digital attendance marking software.

Projects are an integral part of students’ practical learning and implementation. It requires a lot of research, analysis, and planning to execute a project. Schools and colleges emphasize students’ scores in their project work. But the sad part is that they want to keep paper backup with them. Why do institutes want to turn their storerooms into junkyards? Moreover, students usually undertake projects in groups. And so, each student has to submit their individual hardcopy along with a one-group copy of the project. This is not only a big junk to be handled by schools but also students spend a cut of their pocket-money on stationery bills.

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Digital Project Submission 

Junaid Arif/Shutterstock.com

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Today, smart students accomplish their project work with the help and support of Google, AI, and research. They make use of classroom technology, blended learning, digital tools, directories, software, and other essentials to create their projects. Thus, instead of printing the final project and creating multiple photocopies of the same, wouldn’t it be beneficial to submit the softcopy to the institutions and promote collaborative classrooms? Why not? Sure, the project remains the same; it just becomes much easier to track, store, and access for both schools and students. Projects can be stored on the network portal. This would surely save paper big time.

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Traditional Offline Marketing

Schools, colleges, and universities spend a huge amount on advertising and marketing, mostly implying the traditional offline marketing methods. The major modes of marketing are flyers, newspaper advertisements, hoardings, etc. Here, they distribute flyers across a town, in homes, schools, and entertainment hubs where they probably end up in dustbins. Looking at the tremendous advantages of classroom technology, institutions have started to focus on digital marketing methods as well. However, they don’t yet completely rely on digital ways.

Digital Marketing Methods

Each and every student and their parents have internet access today. Moreover, to find the best school in town, Google search is where they ask. In such a scenario, educational institutions must make the most of this opportunity and turn off the traditional offline and paper-consuming marketing methods.

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Approval From Institutions And Stakeholders For Classroom Technology

Educational institutions are debatably bureaucratic organizations. They mostly function in a hierarchical way. There are 2 types of educational organizations:

1. Universities/Educational Boards

The leading heads of underlying schools, departments, branches, and colleges. The members of such organizations are trustees, awarding bodies, NGOs, etc.

2. Schools/Colleges

These are the temples of students where actual knowledge is passed to them through teachers. They consist of principals, administration departments, professors, assistants, teachers, and students.

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Implementing classroom technology and going paperless is not a one-day task. Detailed analysis is required to go ahead with EdTech app development of any kind. The entire bureaucracy needs to be favoring and supportive of the decision. The important point is that each and every member stated above and all the departments produce billions of paper waste.

There is a need for a social approach and rage amongst humanity to sustain an eco-friendly and pollution-free environment. Trees play a vital role in eliminating global warming, and if we continue to use and waste paper the way we have been doing, the depletion of the human race is not far from now. Hence, it becomes essential, rather a moral duty of the stakeholders of our education system to promote digital classroom technology. Learning knows no bounds. The way of learning has evolved with the change in generations.

Greener Benefits Of Classroom Technology

Needless to boast the advantages of classroom technology, it is for the welfare of our planet that we transform our educational bodies into paperless, blended learning centers. Reading the following 7 highlights may hit the rock and pro-activate your human moral to go paperless and embrace ideas in the EdTech domain.

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1. Environmental Preservation

Preserving paper means preserving the environment. Though more and more paper waste is recycled today, we cannot overlook the electric power used to recycle paper. The only satisfaction one can get by preserving paper and adopting technology in classrooms is that they preserve our natural habitat (i.e., the environment).

2. More Cost-Efficient Learning

Going paperless will make the piggy banks glad for all the money used in paper, stationery, school books, project work, and exam sheets to be altered into savings. Parents and students will be the most benefited from school app development.

3. Promotes Intuitive Learning

Paperless education will change the perception of students for studies. The education technology will create intrigue and excitement for students. Moreover, the digital assessment will test the intellect of students rather than their memory power. Also, collaborative classrooms will help teachers cater to interactive, real-time learning sessions that directly boost the intuitive abilities in students’ growth.

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4. Easy Updating Of The Academic Curriculum

The academic syllabus needs to be updated annually or within a few years for keeping students acquainted with real-time knowledge. The traditional paper-education system was indulging in re-publication of textbooks and workbooks, in turn forcing students to buy the latest updated books, which was really expensive. Whereas, classroom technology doesn’t have to deal with all such mess. Rather, it will just ask to update the eBooks and PDFs stored on a portal/network. All students and teachers need to download the latest updated versions of eBooks on their devices.

5. Easy To Analyze The Performance Of Students And Teachers

The e-way has all the ways. A learning management system (LMS) is able to track the performance of teachers, like completing the syllabus on time, solving exam questions, evaluating students’ tests, filling student and teacher attendance, etc. Updating student attendance journals to a biometric/LMS system helps keep an accurate record of students’ presence in class.

6. Standardization In Education

The digital revolution in educational organizations will bring a quality standard to organizations across the globe, all thanks to the EdTech industry. Education technology has the flexibility to collaborate with a number of systems, which welcomes the opportunity for a global standard of equal education carrying quality for students in all corners of the world.

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7. Virtual Classrooms And Learning From Anywhere

Paperless education gives rise to blended learning, which means knowledge sharing through smart electronic devices like laptops, tablets, and eBook readers. Particularly this limitlessness will adhere students to the idea of collaborative learning and school anywhere and everywhere. Geographic boundaries will no more create limitations for students as they will be able to attend classes through video conferences and e-sessions.

Originally published at www.trootech.com.

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