Paperless School Board Meetings with iPads

Categories: Apps, Gadgetry
Comments: 3 Comments
Published on: November 20, 2011

Our school board has been paperless for over a year now, allowing them to be more efficient, less wasteful, and to save the time and money involved in generating the paperwork necessary for every school board member.

This weekend, our school board president, superintendent, and myself gave a presentation on how this is accomplished at the Illinois Association of School Boards convention. Our panel room was packed with school board members and superintendents from other districts, including several people standing in the back and sitting on the floor in the aisle. We were pleased to see so many other districts interested in moving to paperless meetings, and there were a lot of great questions afterward.

The Presenter
Your presenter for this morning

My portion of the presentation concentrated on why we chose the iPad over laptops, netbooks, and competing tablets. Several people asked for copies of our presentation after we were finished, and I’m happy to share that here:

Paperless with iPads (PDF)

On the software side, everything is handled with Dropbox. Our goal was to keep our expenses to a minimum, and Dropbox’s free accounts offer plenty of space for our needs. Our superintendent and district bookkeeper simply export the board packets and any supporting documentation to PDF, then drop them into a shared folder which is automatically pushed out to each board member (as well as anyone else subscribed to the folder).

This is a lot easier to organize than distributing documents via email, and it enables the board members to have everything at hand at all times, including packets, agendas, and so forth from previous meetings. It works well, and it saves the cost of subscriptions to services like Board Portal, which can cost thousands of dollars and, in our case, eliminate any cost savings in going paperless.

Another school board member recorded some video of our presentation, and he caught the first few minutes of my portion on video:

You can also see our school board president’s introduction to the panel on YouTube.

If anyone has any further questions about our presentation or how we handle our paperless meetings, feel free to leave comments on this post or contact me via email.

  1. Mike Perva says:

    I was in Chicago and viewed your presentation. Do you have that as a PDF? Our school board is interested in doing the same. Please let me know where that information is available.
    Thank You,

  2. Elaine Jeffery says:

    Currently I am trying to get my governing body to go digital, especially as our local authority have decided to go paperless. Could you please email me the PDF version of your presentation. In return I will email you with my plan I am currently putting together to present to the school and the governing body. We are UK based. Thank you in anticipation.

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