I decided I would solve this problem on my own. I told my classes yesterday that if they wanted to submit something in handwriting, they could — on lined paper, and obeying all of the school’s other instructional norms about handwritten work.
But if they typed it on their computers or on the school’s computers — it had to go on the wiki, or be emailed to me. No more typed, printed work accepted. Any such paper received will be given a zero.
They got it, even if some of my colleagues don’t.
Here’s the deal. I’ve been a freelance writer working for a company with tight margins and little room for error about what will sell and what won’t. They don’t want to pay postage costs or waste time shifting paper back and forth by FedEx or USPS or any other way of moving atoms around. It’s far cheaper for them to pay an ISP to give them access to Internet protocols for moving electrons as data than to shove moles and moles of atoms around. And since it’s a company that’s indulged in a little science-fiction here and there, it’s OK — they like being sci-fi based.
But basically, I don’t print anything out now except for school or church. I can’t very well read my sermon off my iPhone, after all (and actually I haven’t read anything off my own printed papers in church for a while, anyway). And increasingly, I don’t print anything out for my students. I make them access the web to get it off the wiki.
So. I’m not thinking of myself as going against the grain at my school on this. I’m bringing the future a little earlier than it might arrive on its own merit. And that’s fine.