Can 1:1 device programs save schools money?

Have you ever calculated how much your school spends on photocopying and printing?

Deb Hicks, a Stilish teacher from St Albans East Primary School, recently got her pocket calculator out to estimate something: how much does Stile coupled with their school's 1:1 iPad program reduce expenditure on photocopying and printing.

Her results were quite remarkable.

Deb estimated that at her school, the combination of Stile and their 1:1 iPad program is saving about $4,400 per year on photocopies and printing for the 120 students in Years 5 and 6. That’s a saving of $33 per student!

St Albans East distributes about 8 pages of paper to each child per week (or about 1.56 pages per child per day). I’d wager that secondary schools would use even more.

In my research, I have concluded that one tree yields around 15,000 sheets of paper (estimates generally range between 10,000 and 20,000 sheets). So for the whole of Years 5 and 6, St Albans hands out around 44,000 sheets of paper per year, which, if my calculations are correct, saves roughly three trees from being turned into wood chips and subsequently pulp and paper.

Of course, the saving Deb quoted doesn’t include the cost of the iPads themselves, and naturally, there are other associated cost with pedagogical change management, but if your school already has a 1:1 program in place or you’re using BYOT (‘bring your own technology’), that cost is largely mitigated already. Yes, you’ll still have to pay for the electricity to charge them, but if your school is one of the many that have installed solar panels then even that might be taken care of.


A relatively large part of my parents’ attic is still taken up by all my old textbooks, printouts and other bits of paper I’ve accumulated throughout my education. This is well over 10 years since I completed my Bachelors! If my teachers had been using Stile, my parents’ attic would be a lot emptier now, and my backpack would have been much lighter as a kid as well. Also, the likelihood of me ever going through those musty tomes is fairly low. If I could just log in and get to them within a few clicks, however, I’d be much more inclined to revisit past learning experiences.

So, for trees, photocopy machines and parental attics, using Stile instead of printed handouts is definitely good news!