May 29, 2012, 8:00 am
In “Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse,” Matthew Arnold famously lamented that he finds himself “Wandering between two worlds, one dead, / The other powerless to be born.” A Victorianist by training, I feel confident in saying that Arnold refers here to the well-known problem of having lots of tools for managing digital information, and for digitizing yet more, and yet somehow still finding oneself overwhelmed by stacks of paper. The journey to a paperless workflow often feels like a two steps forward, 1.8 steps back affair.
We’ve talked a lot about this journey on ProfHacker already: Mark wrote about “Going Paperless at Conferences” as well as “Going Paperless in the Classroom”; Natalie’s written on “Paperless Grading with GradeMark”; and we were so excited about the potential of the Doxie Go portable scanner that Konrad and I both reviewed it (his; mine)!
In my own case,…
October 26, 2011, 8:00 am
So much is possible with a pen and paper at hand. Ideas don’t get lost, time doesn’t get wasted, and information is easily shared. If I have pen and paper, I can list, sketch, mindmap, or write, wherever I may be. I can easily move from one mode to another without changing tools.
Yet I also love the clean display, backup, and easy duplication that digital tools offer, and much of what I write by hand eventually gets transferred to a digital format for safekeeping or later reference. One of the keys to working productively is figuring out which tools appeal to you and work well for you under specific circumstances. So even though I have a smartphone which I can use to jot down book titles, errand lists, or other miscellaneous information, there are many occasions on which I prefer to use pen and paper.
In some situations, writing with pen and paper is more discreet, particularly …
August 3, 2011, 8:00 am
[This post is by Lincoln Mullen, a PhD student at Brandeis University and a historian of religion and early America. Lincoln is ProfHacker's newest contributor; follow him on Twitter at @lincolnmullen.--@jbj]
If you’re an academic, a lot of paper goes through your hands: books, journals, notes, committee reports, tests, papers. Previous ProfHacker posts have suggested ways you can reduce the amount of paper documents that you or your students create. Mark told us how he went paperless at a conference and how he runs a paperless classroom. Natalie explained how she does paperless grading. Heather wrote about digitizing lab submissions. And Jason even pointed out how going paperless can limit the spread of disease.
But a lot of the paper that passes through my hands I don’t create. It’s given to me by other people, usually with some obligation attached. Whatever I can, I recycle …
March 1, 2011, 3:00 pm
Last week I highlighted a few of the ways I’ve gone paperless at conferences. Continuing on that theme, I want to share a few tips for going paperless in the classroom. Or at least for using less paper in the classroom.
When it comes to syllabi and assignments, it’s a simple matter to distribute these documents to students electronically. Because I use class blogs as the central platform for all of my courses, I simply incorporate these documents directly into the structure of the blog. But it’s also just as easy to distribute them to students as PDFs (through email or Blackboard, for example).
Note that you should check with your institution before you stop distributing paper copies of your syllabus to your students. Up until last year I was required by my university to have paper copies of the syllabus at the beginning of the semester. That rule has changed now, a…
February 22, 2011, 11:00 am
At the recent MLA conference in Los Angeles I tried something I had long considered doing at a conference.
I went paperless.
Absolutely, totally paperless. No bulky program, no pen and notepad, no hardcopy of my presentations. Just one little piece of tech was all I carried around with me—in this case, an iPad. I was so delighted with my paperless conference-going that I wanted to share my experience here, as well as solicit tips from our readers.
Paperless as a Participant
As an attendee and audience member, I went paperless in two ways:
- I used a PDF of the conference program, which several intrepid hackers (ahem) had downloaded from the MLA members’ site and made publicly available. But even more useful than this massive PDF was a blog post I had prepared beforehand, which listed all of the panels I might possibly want to attend (all digital humanities panels, naturally)….