All students by at least middle school should be assigned email accounts by their respective schools for the purpose of establishing a direct line of communication with their instructors outside of the classroom. Students would accordingly be capable of receiving and preserving important reminders, course syllabi, rubrics, etc.; they’d also be capable of electronically submitting assignments, which would save time, paper, and, in some instances, students’ grades, where they do not otherwise have access to printers.
If instructors require printing of assignments, they should always be prepared to print them for students who otherwise lack access to printers. Accordingly, all instructors should have a working personal computer and printer in their classrooms, preferably printers that are scanners* and copying machines (*scanners could be utilized to scan and upload students’ manually completed documents to instructor and/or student online document storage sites).
Another option would be for students and/or instructors to email or forward students’ papers to and retrieve them from school media/print centers and/or libraries.
Instructors are, of course, capable of electronically grading students’ papers via use of the Comment and Track Changes features in Microsoft Word, and by saving those comments and tracked changes to and uploading them from a jump drive or from the documents of their personal computers.
Before and After School Access to School Libraries and/or Computer Labs
Students should have better access to school libraries and/or computer labs. Student access to school libraries and computer labs is very limited throughout the course of the traditional school day, and would best be availed during before and after school hours, when students should be capable of working on and printing course documents.
Student email accounts for grade school students would enable these particular students to send, receive, and preserve correspondence to and from their instructors and classmates collaborating and/or providing feedback on assignments. It could also help to improve students’ grades by enabling electronic submission of assignments where students may not be capable of printing them.
Training and requiring grade school students to electronically submit, receive, and preserve documents would also prepare them for the collegiate practice and norm.