Monday, February 16, 2009

Cost Benefits of Going Paperless (Reduxe)

Republishing two-articles as one and posting on the sidebar under 'most requested'. This will make it easy for new folks to access these two posts, as was requested by several readers...

Cost Benefits of Going Paperless

An interesting and useful article from about a year back, originally published in The Guardian:

We couldn't break down the figures for the curriculum but we realised that at least 50% was for memos to all staff - paper that would be looked at probably once and then put in the recycling bin. And that's when we realised that we could have a central intranet in the school containing all that information, divided up for pupils and for staff. That was what we identified would free up the paper.

The quote is from the tech teacher at a Scottish high school that's gone mostly paperless. The article is full of great paperless-driven cost saving techniques.

More Cost Benefits of Going Paperless

How much money do you spend making copies?

Our averages here at a school of around 800 students:

Copy paper, colored paper, 11 x 17 paper, & staples = $ 14,500.00 per year
Toner = $ 1, 350.00 per year
Annual service contract for printers = $ 8,400.00 per year

Total = $24,250 per year

You might think this is an exaggeration, but I've talked to many educators who work in faculties of around 60 teachers where the standard max paper use before you need to ask for an extension is 15,000 copies per year. That means that the school fixes its budget on the idea that teachers are going to make on average 83 copies per day. In a faculty of 60, that averages to just shy of five-thousand copies a day.


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  2. It is quite frightening to see all the costs generated by the use of paper, but very convincing indeed regarding the legitimate rollout of a paperless policy within schools. Furthermore, beyond cost and budget matters, it puts in jeopardy the sustainability of our environment, of our forests. I do think new technologies can tackle these problems, even if they remain not entirely environmentally friendly (energy-consuming...), it is worth to have a go. I work in a company which supplies an interactive system and i know the benefits of audience response systems and in particular in education and training fields. It gives the opportunity to the teacher/speaker to engage the audience in a more interactive and effective way. Indeed, the same results are reached, no marking is required and paper becomes useless. Students as well as teachers seem to enjoy it either for tests, pop-quiz or question and answer presentations.
    Today more than ever technologies such as web 2.0, digital whiteboard, interactive voting systems to just quote a few, enable schools and colleges to slash paper-consumption, to preserve the environment at their level, to cut budget spending and overheads, and above all to promote a tutorial system in consistency with their students, a system in favour of interactivity and creativity!

  3. Thank you. I do very much appreciate your site.

    I have been a PTA membership coordinator for the last few years. Ever since our school has tried to go paperless, I have been using using the online forms I found on to recruit PTA members and sign up our class parents for our Halloween Harvest, Red Ribbon Week, teacher appreciation week, our book fair, dances and other volunteer needs.

    Last night I presented it to our PTA board at our first general assembly meeting. It was very well received and I believe our Room Mom coordinator is going to recommend that all of her class moms use the program to help improve parental involvment in the classrooms.

    I just thought this could be something that may want to look into further.

  4. It is my goal to teach without paper next year. This data gives me motivation and a clear rationale for doing it. Thanks for compiling the data!


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