Again, Like my April 29th post states, this has become a brain dump – apologies but I’ll be catching up soon!
This past weekend I was lucky enough to spend the weekend with other teachers in New Orleans in workshops learning how we can best help our students. One of the frustrations I had with the weekend is the silly little road bumps and blocks that we have in educating our youth. Some places they couldn’t get school supplies, some didn’t have an IT person to keep up the equipment, and the biggest complaint was the paper limits.
May 2nd – Genius Scan
As a former Technology Coordinator, the issue of printers, paper and toner still irks me like nails on a chalkboard. The amount of wasted money that goes into purchasing printers that breakdown constantly, the paper that is instantly thrown out once out of the classroom and toner which is never the right size and you spend hours shaking just for a few pages more – still keeps me up at night.
I vowed to cut down on my paper usage early, thinking that if I did, I could be an example and it has worked well in a lot of situations. Google Docs has been a life saver for essay writing and the editing process. But there are still a lot of things that seemingly need paper copies. My issue with worksheets is that if they are relevant to the curriculum, shouldn’t they change every year? Why are we using worksheets that might be multiple years old? I understand the elementary school teachers need their tracing worksheets, but a lot (and almost everything north of 5th grade) can be digital. A simple (and free) app I downloaded for my phone is called Genius Scan (we’ll talk TinyScanner tomorrow) and it has been a godsend. My phone becomes the scanner and I can instantly create and email myself a PDF of worksheets I like, book pages to read and a dozen other things, without wasting copy paper.
Genius Scan is from GrizzlyLabs and they have a few other great products, but GeniusScan saved my paperwork dilemma. As Athletic Director last year, the students had to print and sign medical copies and parent permission forms with emergency numbers on them. Before Genius Scan we’d make 2 or three copies and create folders, but once I scanned them into a shared folder on Google Drive, everyone had viewing access and could get the information instantly. Then I sat down with a few coaches and showed them how to download the forms directly to their phone in case of poor internet connection. we had 250 student athletes with 4 pieces of paper each. Saving 2000 sheets of paper, not to mention time and toner for the copier, was a small victory in paper consumption.