Why online forms at school are good for the environment (and your budget)

It is estimated that 34 billion sheets of paper are used in US schools per year, and in fact, around the world, education is still very attached to paper.  At a time when climate change is a reality for many of us, unnecessarily using so many resources is a very serious issue.

Also many schools are struggling to afford to buy sufficient supplies, not to mention funding the even bigger cost of printing things on it.  Did you know that ounce for ounce, printer ink is twice as expensive as Chanel No.5?

A good proportion of those sheets of paper, are used for non-academic purposes: student registration, medical records, permission slips for sport and field trips and a whole host of other parental communications.  Using paper for this is both unnecessary and inefficient: all parental communication forms can now be digital with ZippSlip  and sent from school to parent electronically.

Then parents can view and fill in forms on their laptop, tablet or smartphone which is much more convenient and accurate.  Forms can be wholly or partially pre-filled at the school, and parents can amend, add and approve.  They can also make electronic payments for things like field trips or musical instrument hire, without the hassle of teachers or administrators dealing with cash and checks.  And the forms can be in any language making it much easier to communicate with parents who don’t have English as a first language.

Parents love the convenience of filling out forms online, and not having to repeatedly give the same information over and over, year after year.  And the benefits for schools are numerous:

  • Spend less on paper and ink
  • Save budget on other stationary items associated with paper use – folders, pockets, staples
  • Save space in the school – no need to archive files and store paper
  • No need to handle money at school
  • Use precious staff time on more productive tasks other than data input
  • Massively improve the ability to produce timely analysis and reports on a host of issues

And of course, the benefits for the environment are immense.  Cutting down on the use of paper and ink saves the earth’s precious resources – what better reason to make the switch to digital?  We are trying to teach our children how important the environment is to us, and so it makes sense to show them how technology can help to save trees! In fact, it’s hard to think of a good reason to carry on using paper.

A quick demo will show you how easy it is to make the change.  ZippSlip already has a million users in the US, and many schools can be up and running in about a week.  Save money and do your bit for the planet!

Why is education so reluctant to embrace technology?

After a slow start, Education starts to embrace technology as early adopters make huge cost savings

As the academic year is drawing to a close, preparations are already in hand for the colossal administrative feat that every school has to achieve at the beginning of the next one.

But as we head off on summer holidays, taking flights that we have booked on the internet, and paid for with our online bank accounts, and stay in accommodation that we round via an app, school registration seems to be stuck in the ‘hard copy’ age, and mired in piles and piles of paper.

The Education sector has lagged behind a lot of others (retail and banking to name but two) in adopting technology, particularly when it comes to engaging with parents. This is often for good reason though: most schools don’t have in-house IT expertise and often don’t have their own budget to evaluate and invest in new systems. New technology often arrives in schools via Districts – and sometimes these systems can be difficult to implement.

In the meantime, multiple sheets of paper are sent out where parents are often expected to supply the same information over and over again, that is assuming that their handwriting is legible, and that they actually fill out the information at all. Schools have to cope with the combined horrors of data input, unscrambling incorrect information and chasing outstanding forms.

It seems that the culture of paper is still strong in education and but there is a great desire to see “what is out there”.  Here at ZippSlip, we are committed to delivering a Superintendents, Principals and their administrative teams the tremendous time and cost saving benefits of replacing paper with the combination electronic forms and online workflows – LESS PAPER and more time and accountability.

The good news is that a combination of cost savings on paper and ink, the ability to use precious staff on more productive tasks and a huge increase in engagement with parents, means that information regarding more than 500,000 students’ records is now gathered via forms on ZippSlip. You can read here how schools across the US are reaping the benefits.

A short demo can show you how ZippSlip could work in your school.