The Story of 50 Sheets of Paper
The following is an instruction given by a teacher to a class working on a project in a school Library:
“OK grade nines – listen carefully. There’s about five minutes to the bell, and you’re not going to have enough time to finish. We’ll work on it again on Monday – save you’re work to a USB key or save it to My Documents if you don’t have one. Make sure you print off a copy as there’s no guarantee it will be here on Monday. Are you listening? Make sure…”
The end result was at lease 50 sheets of paper (not to mention ink) consumed as each Grade 9 student printed off their multi-page-in-progress essays. The problem here lies not in the teacher’s actions. The teacher is responding to a set of circumstances which have forced her to recommend printing hard copies of work – namely, the lack of a secure place provided for each student to store work. Students cannot be expected to remember to bring USB memory drives to class each day.
If we hope to one day reduce our reliance on physical copies of digital documents, I would argue a school is the first place to start entrenching these values.