Since being introduced in 2010, the iPad has altered the way several industries handle their daily operations. From business information sharing to photographer portfolios, the growing tablet market is reducing the use of paper, cutting costs and improving productivity. One field that has jumped on the “paperless” bandwagon is educational institutes.
According to a recent report in OakPark.com – the Illinois town’s local newspaper – School District 97 has taken another step towards creating a paperless classroom. In the system’s eight elementary schools, each class has received iPads that are worked into the curriculum. Superintendent Albert Roberts, who has retooled the use of technology for education since taking over in 2010, said that so far 200 iPads have been bought for the kindergartners.
“The real goal is to help them become excellent communicators and very literate; to be productive in the work that they do. We know kids are not going to be working everyday and every hour with technology, but to use it in a way that makes them engaged and to work collaboratively,” Roberts said.
The “paperless” model extends far beyond the classroom. The school system has set up a “digital backpack” which is a web-based feature on the districts website that houses links and PDFs with information that formerly would have been sent home with students in a big bundle of fliers and notices. Each teacher also has a web page with assignment information that can be accessed from anywhere.
The school board is onboard too. They have replaced their bulky board packets with an electronic “board book” that contains the agendas, minutes and links to reports for every meeting.
With the use of document scanning, the school system is able to transform the stacks of paper into a much easier-to-access digital form which ensures everyone is able to stay in the loop.
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