Technology & Learning, February 1999, p. 30

A technology consultant from the U.K. has these ten tips to help you reduce the amount of paperwork in your school:

  1. Research other schools and districts. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel—learn from what others have already succeeded at doing. There are plenty of techniques that others are using just waiting to be discovered. All you have to do is ask.

  2. Use web sites to distribute information. Instead of making copies and flooding people’s mailboxes with hardcopy paperwork, you can post important information and documents on a web site.

  3. Join mailing lists. This is the easiest way to network with colleagues and compare notes—all without paper. Freedman recommends the Ed Tech list at listserv@h-net.msu.edu and the K12 Admin list at k12admin@listserv.syr.edu.

  4. Have teachers use computers to create worksheets and lesson plans. Updating and sharing information is much easier when the documents are files on the computer.

  5. Offer templates to teachers. You can develop pre-made documents for all your teachers and personnel to use, on topics ranging from awards and lesson plans to form letters.

  6. Use spreadsheets or computerized gradebooks. Teachers won’t have to create from scratch their own versions.

  7. Generate electronic class lists and give them to staff and teachers, either on a disk, over the network, or on an Intranet.

  8. Create databases that make reporting to outside agencies more efficient.

  9. Offer training, especially in-service programs. A simple but effective technique is to provide adequate user manuals and guidance documents.

  10. Scale back reporting demands on your teachers and staff. Find ways to eliminate repetitive or unnecessary paperwork.