A reflection on the use of paper and digital technology in university
On 2014, I joined a bachelor program. From that moment on, I began working on assignments frequently using paper. It's different from when I was in high school where I only wrote in the assignment book directly. The types of tasks carried out are almost all papers that must be printed to be collected to my lecturers. Each task consists of 10-15 pages. In one semester I got assignments of around 8-10 papers. Which means I printed around 150 sheets for only one semester. This happened in the first 2 years of my college so that I had used around 900 pieces of paper at that time.
Then in the third year, I started an internship which required me to prepare daily lesson plans and reports which spent around 300 pages every time I did an internship. By the way, my internship was held 4 times, which mean that I had used around 1.200 sheets of paper at that time. At the end of the fourth year I wrote a thesis. Which every time I do a consultation I have to reprint my revisions to my supervisor. So, I have spent about 500 pages of paper.
If in total, I have roughly spent around 3.300 pieces of paper while I was studying undergraduate. This amount is still less than the actual number which I have also printed for other purposes. My classmates in the same program are 18 people, so it can be calculated that we have used 60 thousand pieces of paper for 4 years. Which means we spend 15 thousand sheets or 30 reams of paper each year.
Can you imagine how many students in Indonesia started their studies in the same year as me? They are almost 2 million students. Which means it may have consumed 1.6 billion pieces of paper per year or 3.2 million reams. But, what makes me sad is that almost all of the results of these tasks are no longer used. Those became useless and even end up in flea or disposal.
If to make 16 reams of paper needed 1 tree, then there are 200 thousand trees that are cut every year for Indonesian students only. This amount is certainly not much if you combined with paper use in the university in another countries or schools, offices, and the other institutions.The calculation above is just an estimate that I made based on my story. However, this amount may be high more likely and will not be much different from the reality.
I hope there are other solutions in student assignments. Now with the advancement of technology, people are turning to digitizing documents. Maybe this is one way that can be taken in educational institutions. Almost all of us at university level have laptops and smartphones. Take advantage of this!
Therefore, these are some actions that I came up with:
1. Switch to use soft file online or email drives in collecting and checking student assignments. Many online features now can be used to give comments and suggestions on students’ work so there is no need to scribble on paper anymore.
2. Try to use invitations / brochures / posters online or in the form of soft files for major events on campus. This is more economical.
3. Use paper only for final archiving, which is no longer being revised.
4. It is better to suggest students to borrow books from the library than to buy new ones. E-books are much more practical alternative reading.
However everyone has their own preferences in managing their documents. Some have to read with hard copy of paper because eye health does not allow them to read on a digital screen for too long so they have to print every reading or buy a book. My important point is how the use of paper is really on target and not become something useless. Regarding to many cases where I and some of my friends have experienced that there is a culture where the submission of assignments in the form of papers and the final project is just wasting paper so we need to make sure the use becomes more wise and effective.
Finally, I hope that these movements will be implemented in every university. We need to act now. What do you think about this? Have any comments? Don’t hesitate to tell me. See you and happy day!
#digitalmovement #university #usingpaperinuniversity
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