What does a paperless education look like?

I never realized the effects my study habits had on the environment, until someone asked me if I had cut down the whole forest.

During the first week at Chalmers, I thought I was well prepared for my first lecture since I had printed out all the slides before my first lecture. This is a habit of mine because it’s common in Thailand to print out the slides and write notes on them during the lectures due to the limited space on the lecture table that can’t fit a laptop. 

When I sat down and laid out all my sheets, I had time to look around the class and saw that most of my Swedish classmates didn’t have much on their table, they only had one laptop or tablet. I thought that maybe one or two of my classmates would print out slides just like I did, but it never happened. Then, when class was about to start, a Swedish classmate that sat next to me was surprised to see all the printed slides on my table, he then jokingly asked me ‘Woah! Did you cut down the whole forest?’. That joke hit me directly, it immediately got me thinking about my study habits.  

I actually don’t need to print anything out because Chalmers has a great application, called Canvas, where students can get their study materials, such as lecture slides, literature, and past exams, for that course directly. Canvas does not only give you lecture materials, but it is also a platform where you can hand in assignments, schedule a meeting with your group mates or your professor. You can even chat with the course professor directly. It’s a very cool application that is not only convenient but also saves the environment because it enables us, students, to study and hand in assignments without wasting any paper. It made my life easier and free of guilt using unnecessary papers. 

Other than Canvas, Chalmers also has its’ own Chalmers map app, where students can find lecture rooms or group rooms in both of our campuses. To be honest, Chalmers is big, and the building structure is a bit complicated for a new student like me, so this map application saved my life from being late to class a lot of times. Even now, after 8 months here, I still use this navigation application to guide me to labs and lecture halls. I discover new places every time. 

With these two convenient applications from Chalmers, papers are being reduced greatly. Learning has never been more environmentally friendly as this. 

Published: Mon 10 Jun 2019.