Mississippi school taking steps toward a paperless future

February 9th, 2015 | Posted by Kevin Corley in Document and Information Capture | Workflow

One Mississippi high school has been developing plans to go paperless. A plan which could ultimately save the school money, while improving the learning process for students. 

Lance Evans, the principal of New Albany High School, explained that the school has been working on plans for the transition to a digital learning experience, such as who should be in possession of devices and how they are attained, according to the New Albany Gazette. He noted that ultimately the goal is to have students coming to school every day with nothing but a device with document management software on it  to hold all of their books and work.  

The school is currently considering three different plans for device distribution. Either students and teachers will have laptops, the kids and educators will have tablets or teachers will have laptops and students will have tablets. Ultimately, Evans believes that the school is likely to split the division, with laptops going to teachers and tablets going to students. 

Another question the school is currently facing is whether to lease or purchase devices for the transaction to a digital classroom, the New Albany Gazette explained. Evans believes that leasing is the best way to go, as it will allow the school to upgrade devices more often, avoid obsolescence and provide the option of paying later on. 

The plan is for students to basically own the devices throughout the school year. They will be able to download music on them, and put stickers on the cases – the tablets will pretty much be theirs. The students will be expected to turn in their tablets over the summer for storage and refurbishing, but will get the same device with the same serial number back again when school starts back up. 

A paperless classroom can improve the learning experience
Going paperless can provide educators as well as students with huge significant benefits in terms of cost-savings and learning potential. Kerry Gallagher, a teacher in Massachusetts, wrote about her own effort to go paperless in her classroom. She noticed that as students used their own devices within the classroom, they grew more organized. Additionally, the students feel more connected with each other when in the classroom which ultimately leads to a more fun learning experience for everyone. 

Gallagher explained that in the end the decision to go paperless was a good one for her and her students. Gallagher started her digital campaign in a much different way than New Albany High School plans to, she had her students abide by a bring your own device policy, but ultimately ended up with the same positive results that Evans hopes to achieve at his school. 

Infusing New Albany High School with technology
Document storage solutions on the devices students at New Albany High School would receive if the plan continues moving forward would store both assignments and textbooks for the students, according to the New Albany Gazette. With this sort of software teachers can more easily track the progress of their students and find subtle ways to push them toward better grades if they notice marks starting to slip. 

Evans also noted that the school is also working to have the city create wi-fi hotspots around the city, the publication noted. Another idea is to put mobile hotspots on buses with longer routes. Hopes are for the plan to be in full swing by next August, which means that Evans and others at New Albany High School will have to begin the transition away from paper school soon, but the savings will be significant. The costs of textbooks, paper and copying all will be mitigated by moving to a document storage solution. 

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