Being at the forefront of the 21st century, there is a wealth of great technology at the disposal of the college.
However, Linfield chooses not to use many of them. Students are not even required to own a personal computer. There are many things that can be done to change the way the campus deals with technology, which will only improve the communication lines between students, faculty and staff.
An area that can be easily changed by embracing technology is the amount of paper that students and staff print.
Blackboard is a great way to share documents with students and also turn in assignments, but students print way too much.
As a student taking a lot of social science classes, I read hundreds of pages worth of Blackboard documents a semester. I read them on my computer or eReader, but there are a great majority of people in my classes that print everything out.
Some teachers even require that the documents be printed.
This is not only bad for the environment, but is a huge waste of money.
If students are printing this much, just imagine what administrative departments are printing. I expect it to be a lot.
The school would save a massive amount of money if there were to be a paperless campaign on campus. It is impossible for the school to completely get rid of paper, but we should stop relying on it.
Modern electronics make it so easy for the school to curb its reliance on paper.
One tool that has been adopted by some teachers is the use of Google Documents.
This free word processor allows for collaboration on assignments and projects. Google Documents can also be integrated into Blackboard. This seems like it would make life easier for students and professors.
Many schools are starting to make tablets, like the iPad, part of tuition.
If Linfield were to do this, then students would be able to use them for reading Blackboard documents without printing and still be able to make comments.
They would also be able to save money on textbooks by having the option to buy digital textbooks. Professors who use their own texts as materials can use programs like Apple’s iBooks Author to convert their books into easily shared ebooks.
It is obvious that there are many things that the school can do to create a paperless environment. Now, action must be taken for the change to actually occur and become a daily staple to the Linfield community.
There are some people on campus that are already starting to move in this direction.
Some of the current ASLC Cabinet members are starting to work on creating a paperless office.
Other departments needs to get behind this effort to save money and the environment.
Julian Adoff/Multimedia editor
Julian Adoff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.