Sunday, April 12, 2009
Google Apps, "Real-World" Paperlessness, and the Paperless Classroom
Here's a video posted by Google almost exactly a year ago on YouTube. It's an introduction to Google Apps for Education and seems to have been made for education admins.
Its amazing how much happens in a year.
I started experimenting with Google Docs around the time this video came out. And it didn't start in school. Rather, I'm on the board of an organization in Baltimore that runs a weekly performance series and produces a big annual music concert. I started working with them about a year and a half ago. Well, the first thing that struck me about the board meetings was that they were conducted entirely paperless. In fact, the only paper we ever use is for making posters. All meeting minutes are done via Google Docs, all submissions are handled electronically, the majority of promotion occurs via social networking, and it is expected that you show up at each meeting with a laptop to connect to the Wi-Fi.
This "real-world" example of paperlessness made a big impression on me and just fueled my conviction to go totally paperless in the classroom. Google Apps have been a big part of my success, so it's interesting to see just how prescient this admittedly rather boring video of a year ago was -- at least in my case.
I do have a conviction to help other teachers go paperless. It's a great way to save resources, make use of the dynamic and creative potential of Web 2.0, and really connect with the students in a way that reflects the world's evolution into the Digital Age. As I approach 200 posts on this blog, I just want to thank all of the folks who have joined in this discussion and I look forward to a year from now looking back on how far we will have come.