Student Paperwork reduction Act of 2008

“If a classroom or homework assignment has a digital equivalent, then the student shall complete the assignment without the use of paper.” StRIP-A 2008

When I walked through campuses and see student work I’m amazed at the enormous use of paper. Everything is on paper.

Paper reports.

Paper pictures.

Paper graphs.

Everything is paper.

I remember back in the 1980s the Feds passed something called the Paperwork Burden Reduction Act, which was supposed to get rid of paper or at least reduce the amount of paper in the workplace.

The Reduction in Paperwork Act never really took off because it came about the same time that computers and printers came into being. So instead of making one copy slowly, or by typing or by hand, I could now use a computer to make 50 copies and send it to everybody I knew. Technology strikes again. The PBRA worked so well, that the sequel, the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 came about. It of course has had about the same effect as the original..but hope springs eternal.

I am sure you have seen how paperwork has been reduced in your life.

I sure have seen how paperwork has been reduced in schools.

Yep, kids sure don’t do a lot of paperwork anymore.


No paper assignments.

We sure are saving trees.

Perhaps it is time to rethink the reduction in paperwork act.

Perhaps we should rethink of it in terms of students.

Perhaps it is time to introduce the

Student Reduction in Paperwork Act of 2008. (StRIP-A 08)

I propose legislation that would, by the year 2015, eliminate all paper assignments in every classroom in the United States of America.

Here is the simple wording for this act:

“If a classroom or homework assignment has a digital equivalent, then the student shall complete the assignment without the use of paper.”

Simple. If you can do it digitally, then you can turn it in that way.

No beating around the bush.

Of course I know that getting this piece of legislation passed would be probably as possible as getting a Republican elected mayor of San Francisco California, but at least it’s something to think about.

So consider the following: I think that teachers use paper because it’s easy because it is fast, because that’s what they’re used to, and it’s what the students have come to expect, so why change?

Parents like to see paper hung up on the walls, administrators like to walk through buildings and see student work, and everyone is happy with paper. Paper is easy, paper is fast, paper is paper.

But I also think that teachers use paper assignments because no one has ever shown them that there are equivalents. For each analog assignment, I bet that there is a pretty close, if not better, digital equivalent.

So here is the deal:

I have created a wiki that anyone can add to, that will, hopefully, become a source where teachers can see that there is a digital equivalent for an analog lesson.

Doing mind maps? Great, here is a lesson that shows you how to use Inspiration.

Doing charts? Great, here is a lesson on charts using spreadsheets.

The motto of the site: "Instead of, Not In Addition to.."

The wiki is called the No More Paper wiki.

Here is the link:

I hope that you can add to it.

No more paper. That is a cool goal huh?

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