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Going Green Helps Buy New Laptops
Going Green Helps Buy New Laptops
Posted on 10/27/2015

Almonte and District High School Converts Savings from Going Green into New Laptops and Tablets for Students


By Mark Calder

(Almonte) – Going “green” can really pay off.

Staff and students at Almonte and District High School (ADHS) learned that lesson recently when they accepted 160 new laptops and tablets. The devices were paid for in part through savings gained by bypassing school printers and sending classroom assignments, assessments and other important documents digitally. The initiative made the portables available to English, history, French, geography, math, intermediate and e-learning classes and saved $15,000 last year in printing costs for paper, ink cartridges and other supplies.

While most of the funding for the devices came through the Upper Canada District School Board Information Technology department, and a grant from the Elizabeth Kelly Foundation, savings from going paperless covered a significant portion of the cost, said ADHS Principal Ron Ferguson.

Aside from the savings, there were other reasons the school made the switch, he said.

“Aside from the environmental reasons of saving on paper – and saving more trees – there are pedagogical reasons,” said Ferguson. “Very few people in the business world nowadays print things out and hand them in. Most documents are submitted digitally and these are the kinds of skills and practices we want our students to adopt. We want them to revise, edit and learn to submit their work digitally because that’s what they’ll do when they’re in the workforce.”

The savings were realized after the school culture changed last year, said Ferguson. All printers were removed from the classrooms and workplaces, and staff and students were encouraged to submit assignments, assessments and other documents by email or services such as OneDrive. The goal was to use savings to increase student access to technology, as requested by students through the Tell Them From Me survey.

Teachers have been trained on Microsoft applications to allow them to mark and submit documents electronically.

The new devices were the latest step in a technological upgrade at the school, which has also seen the expansion of digital TVs or SMART Boards to all classrooms.

Ferguson hopes budget savings can continue through going paperless, adding the school forecasts another $5,000 in savings in the coming year on printing costs.

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