The digital world promised the end to reams and reams of paper. At least, that's what I recall reading years ago. In my undergraduate work, I recall reading an article about the benefits to a paperless world.
- less clutter
- cost savings
- management efficiencies
- reduced physical space/storage required
- better for the environment
I'm sure that list mentioned numerous other advantages. But, that article was published in the early 1990s. It is now 2018 and the need for paper has not waned.
I attended a staff meeting earlier today at one of the elementary sites I service. Like other sites, and other staff meetings earlier in the school year, there was a discussion about the amount of paper being used. Specifically, the staff was asked to conserve paper when possible.
The paper budget seems to go a bit over the line item every year around this time. And, it's been that way since I started teaching in 2003. Even with the addition of thousands of Chromebooks, iPads, and BYOD, the need for paper has not faded.
I read an interesting article over the weekend. Maybe that's why the idea of a paperless world was stuck in my head. I know...confirmation bias is real. But, I really like this quote about paper and innovation. Seems like for all our tech innovations, paper has still managed to keep one step ahead of the digital world.
How did paper get here? Where does it go next? For that matter, why is paper – which does its job perfectly well – compelled to keep innovating?
by David J Unger