Today is blog action day for the environment – running a bit late I still wanted to join in and air my grievances on the amount of paper we waste whereas the digital environment would make most of it entirely unnecessary.
Working in education – the amount of bureaucracy involved seems to grow at a steady pace throughout the years. As a student – where you would fill in about 3 medium length forms a few years ago – you now have to work your way through seemlingly endless numbers of forms. As a tutor – you are bombarded with endless sheets of paper: meeting notes and minutes, schemes of work for your lesson, lesson plans, project briefs, observations, assessments…. and the list goes on….
Though the purpose or necessity of these is worth debating in itself – the issue bothering me most here is the endless amount of paper used… surely a lot of these formalities can be taken care of digitally?
Since taking over the running of my current courses I have been preparing all paperwork as editable PDFs for everyone in my team to use. We use the PDFs for all documentation required, keep numerous digital copies of everything needed and save whole archive folder loads of paper. Apart from cutting down on paperwaste – there are other clear advantages of using digital files – such as easily being able to edit the information, easy and fast distribution, efficient backup and so on…
So I am all for a paper-free office environment :)