A paperless classroom is an idea that many may see as futuristic, but in truth, it is a common practice. When I started working on my Master’s in Online Teaching a couple of years ago, I printed out many of the articles and papers I was reading for the classes. I no longer print our most of the information, preferring to toggle between windows. Teaching in a paperless classroom would require a huge paradigm shift. The content could change as information on the web changes. Learning activities would and should still be designed by the instructor, but students would be put in charge of meeting objectives by processing current information and showing the instructor how the information can be utilized to meet the objectives. Current information could make objective quizzes and tests obsolete and assessment would focus on products with and without collaboration.
I suspect that some students may rebel initially. Many students like to print out materials and use reading strategies that they’ve learned, such as annotating and highlighting to make sense of the material. These tools are available in Office programs, but require a separate learning unit and practice with this skill.
I can see that building a learning network might become easier because of the information and potential for collaboration that is available on the Web. Students show enthusiasm when limits are stretched and outside collaboration may be something that can spark enthusiasm. I can also foresee that some students may withdraw from their current peers and utilize only web tools, causing social isolation.