Tree Killers in the Classroom

Every time I see a presentation to sell something I am surprise at how much paper is wasted.

Let’s take a closer look at the wastes that happen at educational classes:

Registrations. Fax in, mail in, and live that require a piece of paper waste paper because they are used once just for the credit card information and then shredded. Also the regsistrant has a security risk that their credit card number is floating around until the paper is destroyed, filed, or misplaced.

Handouts. How many handouts have you taken purely because they were available and never put them to use? I have a stack of handouts that I have saved over the years which were only looked at during the class and perhaps a day or two afterwards. If action was not taken in the next 30 days then the paper is almost worthless because of the recall necessary to take action is very difficult.

Save time and money

Save time and money

Surveys. How many paper surveys did you receive from a class where you then had to enter into a database after they were completed? Hand written surveys take longer to fill out than electronic surveys. Surveys taken after classes may not reflect true results because of the rush to leave the class or fear the instructor will look at them immediately after they are handed in. More time and paper are wasted.

Here are my solutions:

Establish secure payment gateways for classes.  Many online services offer ways to let students or registrants pay to attend classes. www.EventBrite.com is a good one for those who only set up a few at a time. www.PracticePaySolutions.com is a more robust system that has several features for those who offer more consistent classes or events.

Make handouts available to download. If you cannot upload documents to your web host then you will want to use Google Docs

http://docs.google.com to upload your Microsoft Word 97-2003 documents and publish them to the web. Each document created or uploaded to Google Docs has its own URL or website that you can add to your auto-responder when students sign up for your classes so they can download to their computers to preview before attending the courses.

Electronic surveys.

www.SurveyMonkey.com is one of the FREE websites that allow you to create surveys and send them out to a group for feedback. Each survey can be customized to the type of question and answers that you want to add. Give students something of value in order to fill out the surveys whether it is money off the next class, a free ebook, or VIP seating for big events.

Stop printing, start linking

Give chips not paper clips

Go digital, not traditional

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