BPS EdTech Challenge


The BPS EdTech Team has a challenge for you… One week = No printing

No printers. No copy machines. A week to try new things. Explore, create, present, discuss, and reflect without printing any materials.

As Burlington moves to a 1:1 district, we are constantly evaluating how we deliver content and create engaging learning opportunities for our students. These opportunities do not always lead to paperless lessons or projects however more and more our teachers and students are consuming and creating less with paper. This shift to more project based learning and digital distribution can be a challenge at times. We often need to help others with how to break the traditional cycle of paper driven and worksheet based education. Of course this cycle is something that we are used to. Most of us grew up in an education system that relied on worksheets to deliver and assess almost all curriculum that wasn’t found directly in a textbook.

We have made a commitment in Burlington to rely less on paper. We have consolidated printers, purchased less paper materials, and continuously sought powerful ways to integrate paperless solutions. We are making progress but we have a long way to go.

I always knew using less paper and providing less printers would be a challenge but it wasn’t until recently that I noticed how difficult it can be for people to give up on paper. After some informal surveys I grew concerned. I asked people a few questions about the integration of technology and how they would develop a 1:1 environment in their classrooms.

One question stood out… What could you not live without?

The most common answer was printers.

Printers and by association – copy machines. Surprisingly few said computers or WiFi which seem to me to be fairly critical in the printer relationship.

So I think we all need to take a step back for a moment. Take a look at why we rely so much on printers, paper, and worksheets. Your challenge is to attempt to spend a day without printing. Try a few days and maybe even an entire week. You may be surprised at what you and your students gain from breaking away from paper.

Share with us a creation, story, or link from your paperless week. We will feature some on the BPS EdTech blog.

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