Don’t Put It Away

Contrary to what your elderly science teacher may preach, electronic devices have proven themselves very useful in the classroom. Incorporating the use of downloadable course materials for students on their tablets and electronic devices can actually benefit the classroom. Course materials viewed on electronic devices have been shown to improve students’ learning in certain areas, students enjoy using them, and it’s economically efficient.

Firstly, electronic devices are not only beneficial to the classroom; they have also been shown to be better than older methods for teaching students certain concepts. A student trying to grasp a geometrical or spatial concept can obviously be aided in a tablet’s use of 3D imagery, a lot more than he can be helped by his science teacher’s scribble of a shape on a blackboard. A study found that students who learned about the solar system through its depiction in a traditional textbook scored lower than those who learned about it with the 3D capabilities of the ipad. This shows that when it comes to concepts like distance, time and spatial visualisation, the ipad beats traditional methods of teaching.  If this is a way to better teach our students and bring about a wave of smarter individuals in the process, there is no reason to avoid incorporating ipads and other electronic devices in the classroom. Not to mention, students seem to really like using electronic devices in the classroom.

Second, students love using electronic devices in the classroom. The kids of the late 90s are all electronically literate, and prefer using electronic devices over any other method of learning. They spend hours a day in front of screens, it’s only normal that incorporating electronic devices in classes would feel natural to them. A student of Vanier College named George Koniaris was asked his opinion on the use of electronic devices in the classroom. George said, “In my biology class, the teacher allows us to bring tablets in class to read the powerpoints she sends us online. I actually prefer this method as I find it more efficient and easier than carrying a bunch of books with me to class. I would like if more teachers promoted the use of tablets in their class.” George is not the first person to mention how having to carry a bag full of books is a hassle, and that hassle disappears with the use of tablets.  A study done in Pepperdine University took a group of students and integrated the ipad into their classroom experience. The study found that most students really enjoyed the ipad, and found it useful. Efficiency is one great thing about the ipad, but the fact that it saves money is another important factor we have to consider.

Lastly, using electronic versions of course materials and student assignments over paper can have a significant effect on costs. Imagine if every time you have to hand in an assignment, you do it online. Imagine that every time you have to bring course notes to class, you put them on your tablet. The amount of paper that would be saved by doing this alone would be phenomenal. This would not only cut costs, but would also be a great step towards making schools more environmentally friendly. A study done at the University of Texas had as one of their research points to find if there were any cost cuts for a department in their school, if that department asked of students to hand in all assignments virtually and for all grades and comments to be given online as well, very similar to our omnivox at Vanier College. The study found that there was a 48% decrease in costs from the last year’s total costs. The majority of students also enjoyed using the online system.  Online submission and overall electronic use in the classroom is an efficient way to go about schooling, and it should become more used.

In conclusion, incorporating electronic devices in the classroom has been shown to actually be more efficient than traditional methods for teaching certain concepts requiring 3D visualisation. Students also really enjoy using them and they cut costs compared to the use of paper notes and course materials in the classroom. They vary from being big enough to fit in your pocket, to big enough to be held in one hand. They are relatively small and compact compared to having to carry a whole bag of books around with you, and don’t weigh you down like a heavy bag pack does. They are a great addition to traditional teaching methods, and in a society that is changing and becoming more technology oriented every year, a change towards electronic devices is inevitable.

By Stamatis Daskos

 

Arney Janna, Jones Irma & Wolf Angela.“Going green: paperless technology and feedback from the classroom”.Journal of Sustainability and Green Business. ND.

Brian Handwerk, National Geographic News, 2013. iPads Improve Classroom Learning, Study Finds. The writer of this article was just describing the findings of a study.

Cameron, Andrea H.; Bush, Michael H., Ed.D.  Pepperdine University, 2011. Digital course materials: A case study of the Apple iPad in the academic environment

 

technology in the classroom

By Khaled Fawal

The glaring depletion of resources, the rise of oil prices on a global scale and the pressing need to address rapid climate change have suddenly made sustainability the central dilemma of our generation. Of course, scientific institutions are constantly introducing innovations that provide various solutions, but, as ordinary citizens, we too have the ability to make a difference. Indeed, at Vanier College, there are a great number of modifications to the traditional system that can bring about positive change, and the paperless classroom appears to be a convenient alternative now more than ever. This essay will elaborate on student response to a virtual classroom, on its various environmental benefits, and on its educational advantages as well.

First, the virtual classroom has been generally well-received by the majority of students. Indeed, a research study at the University of Texas was conducted to evaluate student satisfaction with the paperless classroom, and the results were overwhelming. According to the study, 90% of participating students were encouraged by the prospect of integrating online assignment submission, since it made work management much easier. In the end, the same number of students preferred the paperless classroom to the conventional system most educational institutions abide by. Also, most students at Vanier College are already very familiar with electronic devices, since the majority of them have grown in an environment monopolized by technology. These favorable circumstances would obviously make the integration of downloadable course materials on their tablets and electronic devices a lot more straightforward. A study at Pepperdine University underlined the benefits of electronic devices in academic environments. Indeed, the iPad tablet served as an e-reader providing digital course materials, and the results were, again, astounding. Most students were not distracted by the other capabilities of the iPad, while also citing its portability as an added incentive to using it more often. The introduction of paperless classrooms has been universally acclaimed by students, and it would undoubtedly have a positive impact here at Vanier College as well.

Second, the incorporation of technology in the classroom would evidently help improve the school’s ecological footprint. With e-readers gaining popularity by the second, the book industry has seen an incredible reduction in their in-office printing. Therefore, there is also a noticeable reduction in the amount of trees being brought down for the purpose of producing books. Indeed, according to a study by Procedia, a report released by Green Press Initiative suggests that the production of textbooks requires around 200,000 tons of paper. In order to produce such a vast amount of paper, approximately 4 million trees are forced to hit the ground. In the end, the making of textbooks is responsible for around 20% of the total paper intended for the book publishing sector. Of course, there is no denying the necessity of trees. Those majestic blessings of nature provide us with oxygen, while also creating a peaceful, aesthetically pleasing environment. Their presence is vital to human life and wildlife as well. If the e-book alternative would be adopted by the great majority, a significant amount of trees would be preserved, and the diffusion of information would successfully maintain its climb.

Third, virtual classrooms are also important components for the development of education. As mentioned before, the world we live in today is dictated by technology. Indeed, the modernity that surrounds us defines the era we live in, and paperless classrooms will prepare students for the technology-driven workplace of tomorrow. According to The Education Arcade, “there’s a sharp disconnect between the way students are taught in school and the way the outside world approaches socialization, meaning-making, and accomplishment.” While the main purpose of our educational institutions is to teach, it is also crucial for such institutions to implement methods that facilitate the integration of students into society. In other words, they must make the merging of these two worlds as seamless and consistent as possible.  Furthermore, technology in the classroom would create a more dynamic learning environment for students. Again, according to the study by The Education Arcade, many teachers that embrace the potential of emerging technologies have noticed that chairs are filled more frequently than not. The reason is quite simple: students dedicate much more attention to lessons when multimedia education is involved. They understand the concepts better, and show a lot more interest towards the addressed subjects. Imagine Vanier College students walking through class doors with excitement every day. The introduction of these emerging technologies would only benefit the learning process, while also creating a more pleasant environment for both students and teachers alike.

In conclusion, the integration of the paperless classroom would undoubtedly be lauded by students, it would help improve the college’s ecological footprint, and it would facilitate student productivity in the classroom. In the end, Vanier College is a place that can only gain from these powerful emerging technologies.

 

WORKS CITED:

Embong, A. M., Noor, A. M., Hashim, H. M., Ali, R. M., & Shaari, Z. H. E-Books as Textbooks in the Classroom. 2012.

Arney Janna, Jones Irma & Wolf Angela. “Going green: paperless technology and feedback from the classroom”. Journal of Sustainability and Green Business. ND.

Cameron, Andrea H.; Bush, Michael H., Ed.D.  Pepperdine University, 2011. Digital course materials: A case study of the Apple iPad in the academic environment

Groff Jennifer, Haas Jason, Klopfer Eric, & Osterweil Scot. “Using the technology of today, in the classroom today”. The Education Arcade. 2009.

A Change to Electronics!

 

As we are all surrounded by trees, we are all surrounded also by paper. Where ever we look, we see paper. Whether they’re in a form of a poster, or a journal, or a newspaper, and or a book. Indeed, paper is an important aspect of our everyday life. However, the production of paper can become harmful to our environment, and the need to supplement it is ought to consider. There for, the utility of books and journal should be supplemented by electronic devices as these are more environmentally efficient.

Paper industries are very harmful to our environment and are very environmentally inefficient. They are harmful because they produce a lot of water wastes that are high on toxicity. As well, paper industries are inefficient because they use lots of trees. When paper is being produced for various reasons, such as for books, or newspapers or other, lots of water is consumed. Considering the amount of publishing that goes on everyday around the world, might be scary to imagine how much water is actually wasted. As these waters get intoxicated by different pollutants from the production process, it becomes difficult to eliminate these wastes. For example, Pulp from paper contains lots of bacteria and does not degrade.  There for, leading this whole process to water depletion. Also, when waters get infected, they infect all the ecosystem of the cold waters. in the text “Environmental Management, Structure, Networks and Information Exchange: The Case of a Tasmanian Pulp and Paper Mil”, the author point out that “such effluents [water waste pollutants] can generate unpleasant odours, taint fish flesh, and encourage acidity, slime growth, scum and discolouration to the water”. Thus, possibly also infecting us. So finding solutions to these kind of problems could be difficult. However, if we think out of the box, it could be just as easy. Technology has advances so much with years, to the point that today we can use electronic paper. Through e-books and other electronic devices, reading different books or articles can be much more eco-friendly. As these are not hard-printed-copies, they do not dispose toxic and hazardous pollutants that could harm seriously our waters. Electronic books have no need to be published, as these could be found online through database. The cost productions of electronic books is also lower than that of hard printed books. Making them more accessible physically and financially. Electronic paper should supplement the hard copy paper, as this will reduce environmental damages. There would be no flooding, no deforestation and less wastes.   

Electronic paper as an alternative has lots of advantages. It is not only eco-friendly, it is also student-friendly. Electronic books are compact, small and efficient. They contain everything in one single “book”. Student have no need to carry heavy hard-copy-books, as these are all contained in one. Electronic books are also much less expansive when compared to hard-copy-book. In a research study article “Evaluating the electronic textbook: is it time to dispense with the paper text?” The author points out that when psychology book could be sold for 81.25$, and electronic copy could be purchased almost half price at 40$. He explains in the text that this is due to different production costs. But not only that the electronic book is cheaper in price, it also more efficient for studying. In the same research paper “Evaluating the electronic textbook: is it time to dispense with the paper text?” Result show thatelectronic books are time efficient. Student who participated in the research have shown to study less in time wise than those who study by a hard-copy-book. Its advantages of being electronic permits people to annotate their text easier. By having the option of cut and paste, people don’t need to spend time rewriting their notes on different papers. Making their notes and information more easily accessible. Electronic books are less time consuming. A research has shown that students who studied with a hard-cover-copy spend 2.3hours per week, and students who studied with an electronic device spend 2 hours per week in studying. This research has also shown that students using electronic books found it easier and practical to study, because they had direct access to electronic dictionaries, graphs, videos and other extra resources. 

In overall, people should start using electronic paper rather than hard-copy-paper as these are environmentally harmful and inefficient. As our fresh waters are getting infected by different bacteria, electronic books are safer use. They require no tree cutting and no water wastes. Electronic books are also time efficient. They provide the reader with access to different other useful resources, such as online dictionary that can save time in their research.  Even if electronic books are not yet so popular in their usage, with time they should be more used. As said earlier, they are not only eco-friendly, they are also student-friendly.

 

 

References:

Chadwick, S., & Hanson, D. (2001). Environmental Management, Structure, Networks and Information Exchange: The Case of a Tasmanian Pulp and Paper Mill. Prometheus19(1), 27-43. doi:10.1080/08109020110040879

 

Shepperd, J.A., Grace, J L., Koch, E. (2008). Evaluating the electronic textbook: is it time to dispense with the paper text?  Teaching of Psychology. Vol. 35 Issue 1, p2-5. 4p.  doi: 10.1080/00986280701818532

 

 

FROM TRADITIONAL TO DIGITAL BOOKS

by Monique R.

Teachers introduce e-books as the new textbooks to save the future of the environment. The idea will bring a positive impact to the students and the natural world. The thesis that will be argued in this paper is that e-books are better for the environment than textbooks. First, the paper will analyze the reasons why most students would prefer using e-books. Then, it will explain how virtual books produce less carbon dioxide and less paper consumption.

Students list numerous reasons why they are in favor of eBook. In the article “Digital course materials: A case study of the Apple iPad in the academic environment” students mention that it is easier to carry an e-book rather than books. Electronic devices are lighter and take less space. Also, students can place all of their subject materials in one section of the e-book. Otherwise, students have to carry three to four books to their classes. Another reason why students prefer the e-books is the accessibility. The students can simply find their class notes and they can easily load and print class materials. Additionally, electronic devices are much more entertaining for the students. There are sound effects, colorful pictures and activities that can help students have a better understanding of their learning. Students tend to retain the information they learn in class since e-Books are more entertaining than books.(Groff et al., 2009). Students are more attentive when they use e-Books rather than books. They are more motivated and willing to participate in activities. E-Books should be introduced in teaching so that most students would be encouraged to go to school.

Moreover, electronic devices to schools will help save the environment by decreasing the production of carbon dioxide. Over the past few years, the production of e-books has increased as well as the production of books. Over the course of a year, a book produces 26 grams of CO2 and an e-Book produces nearly 130 grams of CO2 (Moran, 2012). Then, studies look at the production of carbon dioxide in the course of five years. Surprisingly, books have a higher carbon footprint than the digital devices. Notably, in the entire process of producing books, “80% of carbon footprint is caused by the earliest stages in its production process: paper harvesting, forest clearing and material shipping” (Moran, 2012, p.7). Books are known to have the highest carbon footprint. The total book sales increase every year. Books became “the biggest environmental offenders in publishing” (Ritch, 2009, p.3). Researchers recommend people to use eBooks as long as possible. Also, they encourage people to recycle their electronic device when it no longer works. In this case, the use of e-books would reduce the production of carbon dioxide causing less harm to the environment.

Lastly, the use of e-books decreases paper consumption. Every year, about 14 million trees are cut down to produce paper. With 14 million trees, there is 200,000 tons of paper produced (Embong et al 2012). The production of books eliminates forest. A study indicates that there is a software program that can print only the necessary notes and information. (Embong et al 2012). Students save a great amount of paper by using e-books. Also, e-Books prevent the destruction of forests. Instead of buying books that will eventually be thrown out or be left in the closet, e-books provide an option to loan schools’ materials that will “eliminate the need to buy textbooks” (Embong et al 2012, P.1804). Also, books are very delicate. Most students can’t maintain their books in good condition. When they resell their books, other students don’t buy then because they prefer to buy new ones. However, if students had an e-Book, they would be more careful. For some reason, people are more vigilant towards technology. Students would only take care of one e-Book that contains all their school materials rather than taking care of all their books. Electronic books would benefit the environment by saving what is left of nature.

Schools should introduce e-Books to their teachings for it will save the environment by reducing the carbon emission and the paper consumption. Also, it is in favor of many students to replace their textbooks by digital books. It is time to adapt to a virtual classroom. Students would be more attentive towards their learning and determine to learn new materials. The advantages of an e-book will bring positive change to students’ education; these changes will save the environment from destroying trees and increasing pollution.

WORKS CITED

Embong, A. M., Noor, A. M., Hashim, H. M., Ali, R. M., & Shaari, Z. H. (2012) E-Books as Textbooks in the Classroom. . Retrieved April 24, 2014, from http://ac.els-cdn.com/S1877042812026390/1-s2.0-S1877042812026390-main.pdf?_tid=b26ccb74-cc1c-11e3-a3d3-00000aab0f02&acdnat=1398391117_4127f2dde54a6948d76c7e7b1a10ae92

Groff J., Haas, J., Klopfer, E., & Osterweil, S. (2009) Using the Technology of Today, in the Classroom Today. Retrieved April 24, 2014, from http://education.mit.edu/papers/GamesSimsSocNets_EdArcade.pdf

Moran, N. (2012, May) Are eReaders Really Green? MM The Millions Magazine. Retrieved April 24, 2014, from http://www.themillions.com/2012/05/are-ereaders-really-green.html

Ritch, E. (2009) The Environmental Impact of Amazon’s Kindle Amazon. Retrieved April 24, 2014, from http://www.tkearth.com/downloads/thoughts_ereaders.pdf

Cameron, A. H., Bush, M. H. (2011, May) Digital Course Materials: A Case Study of the Apple Pad in the Academic Environment. Retrieved April 24, 2014, from http://pepperdine.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15093coll2/id/139

Annotated Bibliography

Arney Janna, Jones Irma & Wolf Angela. “Going green: paperless technology and feedback from the classroom”. Journal of Sustainability and Green Business. ND. This research conducted at the University of Texas at Brownsville focuses on student satisfaction with the paperless classroom. It also highlights the economic benefits of technology in the classroom. (KF)

Brian Handwerk, National Geographic News, 2013. iPads Improve Classroom Learning, Study Finds. The writer of this article was just describing the findings of a study. The study found that ipad use can be just as good for learning as older methods, and can actually help students grasp scientific concepts that can be aided with 3D imagery the ipad provides. (SD)

Cameron, Andrea H.; Bush, Michael H., Ed.D.  Pepperdine University, 2011. Digital course materials: A case study of the Apple iPad in the academic environment. This study found as its main point that most students found ipads and the use of electronic devices in the classroom to be helpful to them. Many teachers agreed they were helpful as well. (SD)

Groff Jennifer, Haas Jason, Klopfer Eric, & Osterweil Scot. “Using the technology of today, in the classroom today”. The Education Arcade. 2009. This article underlines the numerous possibilities technology can bring to the classroom environment. It also explains how electronic devices can improve the learning experience of students, and also simplify the life of teachers. (KF)

Moran, Nick. Are eReaders Really Green? MM The Millions Magazine. May 2012.

An interesting magazine that talks about the carbon footprint of books and eBooks. It is a short article that looks at how eBooks are more sustainable for the environment. In depth, Moran compares the carbon released of eBooks and books. The article is interesting because the author presents different amount of carbon footprint produce in books and eBooks. It shows the quantity of carbon produce during the production and in the course of time. The readers can see a clear difference on which is better for the environment base on the precise numbers that the author presents. The author concentrates on the carbon footprint. However, it also looks at the production and the transportation of eBooks and books. The articles show relevant evidence and clear explanations on how people should switch to eBooks. (MR)

Ritch, Emma. The Environmental Impact of Amazon’s Kindle: Cleantech Group LLC. California: Amazon, 2009.

Emma Ritch examines the impact of electronic devices on the environment. Couple of arguments are brought up from the author about the production of books. The author presents graphics and numbers that ease the comprehension of the article. Numbers has shown that the carbon produced in a single digital book was higher than a single book. Although, she argues that books can have a bigger impact over the course of a year production. Nevertheless, this article presents more information about eBooks. What makes it interesting is that she looks at the reality of things. She says that eBooks and book are bad for the environment in any situation. However, she brings out reason how digital books can have a better impact on the environment. (MR)