This year, it’s all digital, all the time. Email, GDrive, Dropbox and the like make it so easy to push files back an forth that printing things out is more of a pain than it’s worth. I’ve not installed any printer drivers on this computer, either. Just in case my resolve weakens.
While for most day-to-day things ditching printing is pretty easy, there are a few things I’m keeping in mind:
1. There’s a certain… richness… to paper. A tangibility. A tactile response to it’s heft and physicality. To that end, I’m trying to emulate that digitally as much as I can. That means graphics, layout work, and pushing a specific aesthetic on everything attached to my classes. A cohesiveness. This cannot be overlooked.
2. Just because it’s all digital doesn’t mean it’s all the same. I need to keep in mind the myriad digital formats that exist, and endeavor to use the most appropriate format for the task I’m trying to accomplish. Vital. And when you combine this with #1, you realize that the aesthetic you’re using has to translate across multiple digital formats. A bit tricky.
3. Think like a startup. Make a choice quickly based on the best information you have access to, and then be ready to pivot to another choice if things need to be changed. Make these changes definitively, and don’t look back. Done is done.
I moved classrooms for this year, and in doing so I saw the opportunity to purge much of my physical stuff from my life. It was liberating, and while terrifying for a moment, I don’t regret it at all. I did, however, move two file cabinets to the new room. These are an archive of my last 6 (or so) years of teaching. I’ve never reached into them for anything, really. It’s a record. But I’m not sure it needs to exist. What’s it for? Why keep it? What purpose does it serve?
None, I think. It’s a function of me being sentimental.
I guess the next step is clear.