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Develpoment Education Learning

Paperless Education- The New Future of Learning?

Adapting to technology doesn’t necessarily mean inconveniencing oneself in the name of development. This is perhaps the biggest concern of educators all over the globe. The reluctance to adopt a paperless education method stems from multiple reasons; all of which might be justifiable. But the fact remains—technology was developed by humans to simplify tasks in their daily life. Therefore, paperless education is gaining popularity in the field of learning.

What is Paperless Education?

When one talks of paperless education, the direct ideas that pop in one’s mind are perhaps difficult to grade papers, a lack of practice of penmanship, and an overall reduction in the growth of aptitude. Old-school educators feel that if they let technology invade education like it has invaded other aspects of a human’s life, they’ll hamper learning. But is this fear valid? Let’s do what is done best in such daunting situations—create a Pros and Cons list!

Pros of Adapting Paperless Education

As an advocate of the healthy use of technology, paperless education is the revolution in education we urgently need to adapt. And the reasons for this urgency is listed below:

1. Going Paperless Means Easier Track of Learning

Paperless education makes tracking easier
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In every aspect of human life, we’ve let technology help us. Be it accounting, record keeping, data tracking, or any other tasks that were tedious as hell five decades ago. Nobody can deny the efficiency and accuracy it has granted us. Students deserve to learn through the same level of efficiency that the current era runs on.

Converting the system of learning, even gradually, to accommodate the paperless vision of education can mean that a great level of efficiency can be achieved. Just imagine the time, effort, and energy it is going to save if every essential teaching and learning resource, administration, execution, and feedback, come together through a systematic interface.

The quality of learning and education is dramatically going to improve, and the progress will be evident. Oh, one thing that perhaps is the biggest pro for teachers is that, with paperless education, no students can go on with the excuse that they forgot their homework back at home! (oops)

2. Efficiency in Cutting Costs and Reducing Staff Work Load

Bulks of copies of worksheets, assignments, heaps of books, references and sheets, and about any other resource that uses paper. Therefore, education requires money. These are regular in today’s learning system. But imagine reducing all that and storing it all in one single digital space. Calculate the amount of extra money and costs that would be cut down by making this simple transition for paperless education.

Paperless education makes teaching easier
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Teachers all over the globe have a singular common complaint. Too many students and too few teachers. The teachers have a tremendous workload and average pay. Now going paperless would significantly reduce the extra work that a teacher has to go through, like preparing copies, collecting assignments, etc. This undoubtedly would add to improved quality in learning, as the teachers would finally have time to focus on what’s important—imparting education.   

3. Promoting A Sustainable Learning Environment (My Favorite Pro Ngl)

Just think back to all the stacks of paper you’ve used in the past month for your schoolwork. Now multiply that to the thousands of students in your school and even more in your city. The amount of paper being used, printouts lying forgotten, assignments reviewed and stacked away, is a growing point of concern. The way we are moving forward is if we don’t work out a more sustainable mode of learning and of living, humans aren’t going to have much to live on with.

Going paperless will not only help you reduce your carbon footprint and do your bit for the environment, but it will also encourage students. Students who are leading towards a future where resources have already been plundered, and the need for sustainability will be at an all-time high.

4. Changing the Teacher-Student Dynamics (But in A Good Way)

Paperless education changes teach student dynamic
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A typical traditional classroom setup has been pretty similar for centuries. A professor or teacher or educator is leading the class, with students as attentive (and not so attentive) subjects. This system is religiously being followed to date, with some minuscule changes to it.

But gradually, as individuals and generations have grown, its effectiveness is seemingly reducing. The reason? The current generation doesn’t seem to thrive under the thumb of authority; they need the freedom and space to be expressive. For that reason, the teaching styles and patterns of teachers are gradually evolving.

Through paperless learning, a teacher wouldn’t necessarily have to be at the centre of the class. They can delegate students and at times, learn alongside them, as well. It can be visible that letting technology take over is not always a bad thing, especially if it assists in a more progressive style of receiving education.   

Cons of Going with Paperless Education

Everything that seems to have unbeatable pros do have a trail of cons that follow. How significant and difficult they are to work around, I’ll let you be the judge of it.

1. Affording the Conversion from Traditional to Paperless

In a lot of countries across the globe, classroom education has seen a significant improvement in terms of technology. The use of projectors, white screens, computers, and other electronic gadgets have been slowly yet gradually been introduced to the patterns of learning. But on the other hand, some do not have the funding necessary for going through such a major transformation. There are a vast majority of institutions in economically backward countries that have students who barely can afford books to study.

The polarization is extreme, I agree, but also necessary to consider. Unless extreme philanthropists are lurking around to sponsor millions of these kids with technology to go paperless, the paper would pretty much remain their medium to study. Sometimes, in our glory of privilege, we fail to acknowledge others who do not share similar opportunities as us. Therefore, to them, as titillating as paperless education sounds, it can’t be a possible reality.

2. Making Your Brain Lazy by Taking Too Much Help from Technology

Oh, if it isn’t the favourite argument by almost every boomer educationist out there—too much dependency on technology has made your brain lazy. They aren’t wrong on that aspect, are they? This is the same brain that used to memorize phone numbers a few times after dialling them. We were experts at roads and directions because Google Maps wasn’t an alternative in case we got lost. So now that we study ourselves, we cannot deny the fact that we indeed are turning into comfort-loving beings that dumps all the hard work on technology.

Now, in such times, the only solace was the training our brains get in the formative schooling years. Through vigorous learning and practising everything in real-time, at least in the developmental stage, students are learning to exercise their brains. With dependency on technology, we won’t have even that.      

3. Constant Need of Active and Dedicated Tech Staff in Institutions

This one’s a no-brainer. If you need to smoothly work out day-to-day school interactions with paperless education, then your altercations with technology will be a lot. The resolution of most technical errors requires the help of some qualified IT professionals. This means hiring full-time staff dedicated to handling the technology in the school. At present, most schools that have ‘smart classes’ (a projector, computer, and a screen) might have someone on the payroll to ensure that the tech is up-to-date.

Can hamper learning if tech fails
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But when transforming into an entirely paperless system of education, dependency on this technology increases tenfold. This means that if for any reason the tech fails, it will hamper the learning for an entire day. To avoid that, technological reinforcements are necessary, and that means more investment. It ultimately looks like a vicious loop.

Summing Up

Do the pros outweigh the cons? Or does paperless education have too many cons to consider it as a viable option? I’ll let you be the judge of that. What I do know is that nothing is constant, especially the world around us. Education will keep progressing and the methods of learning will evolve. How we take up to that change and adapt to it is the real question. Education essentially needs to be relevant for it to be effective for the coming generations. But the process of imbibing that relevancy needs to be easy and accessible with a wide variety of communities, cultures, and people. And that is something that shall be the defining factor for the quest for paperless education.

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Develpoment Education

What is Sustainable Education and Why is it Important?

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We live in the era of Information and Technology. Today, we are surrounded by knowledge and have answers that were once even beyond imagination.

What is the Earth made of? How does the moon taste? What are stars? How do Robots work? We know all this today but at the cost of our natural resources. For centuries, we have been burning through our resources in order to satiate our undying curiosity. Now, just like Robert Frost, we have reached a fork in our path and must choose which road we must take.

Sustainable Education or Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) promotes the development of skills and values required to create a sustainable future.

Sustainable Future

Sustainable education for the future
Source

So, what exactly is a Sustainable Future? Well, it refers to creating a future in which we are no longer threatened. A future that ensures environmental protection and conservation, promotes social equity, and encourages economic sustainability.

[Economic Sustainability promotes using, safeguarding, and sustaining resources (human and material) to create long-term sustainable values by optimal use, recovery, and recycling.]

In many ways, Sustainable Future does seem like a utopian society, and hence, a pipedream. However, sustainable education is something that will help us close this gap.

A Sustainable Future is a necessity to ensure the survival of Earth and its denizens. We are bound to run out of resources. Therefore, it is important to put our future needs ahead of our current needs.

~Here is an article from UNESCO on the importance of Sustainable Education.~

Tips for Teaching Sustainability

Teaching sustainability
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All the tips that I’m about to mention are from an excellent research article you can find here. I will be shortening the points in order to try to get them across easily.

1. Student OverLoad

Firstly, teachers should see to it that students don’t get overwhelmed or depressed by the global environmental crises. Emotional overload can make the student feel powerless or even resentful, which can disrupt the learning process.

Instead, teachers should discuss environmental success stories. This may include discussion of environmental policies or movements that have succeeded in mitigating pollution, conserving resources, or promoting ecological resiliency.

2. Quality of Life Issues

Students learning about environmental issues for the first time can easily feel that their entire lifestyle is threatened by resource limits and the environmentalists who champion living simply.

Furthermore, educators can sometimes add to this sense of threat by taking a moralizing prescriptive and unyielding approach to more sustainable lifestyles. 

Therefore, a better way to approach the issues is defining happiness and quality of life.

3. Things to Teach

Firstly, teachers must engage the students with group discussions. Doing so will allow cross-communication among them. This can also lead to problem-solving sessions and debates; teachers can also assign group projects for this.

Teachers must also teach students to analyze data for themselves. Rather than just reading about data, they should have the ability to decode data and analyze it for themselves. This will not only give them insight but also empower them.

Spend time investigating the historical origins and conflicting uses of environmental terminology such as “sustainability,” “environmentalism,” “stewardship,” and “nature”.

Some of the topics that are important here are:

* Precautionary Principle

The precautionary principle states that, if an action risks causing harm to the public or the environment, and there is no scientific consensus that it is indeed harmful, the burden of proof that it is NOT harmful falls on those taking the action.

* Interdisciplinarity

A critical and thorough understanding of issues related to environmental sustainability necessarily involves contributions from a wide variety of disciplines. Therefore, learning about the interdisciplinary nature of sustainable actions is necessary.

* #Envision2030

Finally, let’s talk about Envision 2030. In September 2015, the General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The new Agenda emphasizes a holistic approach to achieving sustainable development for all.

Of course, Sustainable Education is necessary for us to achieve these goals, everyone should be educated about them and actively work towards them.

Sustainable development goals
Source

The Sustainable Development Goals are:

  1. No Poverty
  2. Zero Hunger
  3. Good Health and Well-being
  4. Quality Education
  5. Gender Equality
  6. Clean Water and Sanitation
  7. Affordable and Clean Energy
  8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  10. Reduced Inequality
  11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  13. Climate Action
  14. Life Below Water
  15. Life on Land
  16. Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
  17. Partnerships to achieve the Goal

Conclusion

I hope you understand the dire need for Sustainable Education. The good news is that we are close to our goals. The more people who support sustainable Education, the closer we get to saving our planet. So, let us take the pledge to promote Sustainable Education and be sustainable in our daily lives.