Between presentations, handouts and other documents, more than 2,000 sheets of paper were used for Friday's Beaufort County Board of Education meeting.
"My home office is full of paper from years of board meetings," board Secretary Laura Bush said.
But board members received a tool during the first day of the two-day work session that could clear the clutter -- iPads that could help the board go paperless.
Members can now access agendas and all presentations and supporting documents through the device. They also will use the iPads to check email and take notes at meetings.
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Many board members had only occasionally used an iPad, but they were trained on the basics Friday by eight technology coaches, who also have helped launch the district's classroom iPad program.
The 12 iPads, keyboards and cases were purchased for $3,790, taken from the board's $564,500 budget, and were given to each board member and the board's administrative secretary, Robyn Cushingberry.
Cushingberry said the board budget typically covers board members' stipends, mileage reimbursements, salaries, legal fees and trips. It also pays for printing costs. This initiative is separate from the $1.8 million technology initiative that put iPads in some middle and high school classrooms this school year.
There was no estimate on how much the iPads will save in paper expense.
For the next few meetings, paper copies of agendas and all documents will be available for board members as they get used to using their iPads, Cushingberry said. By March, the board should be paperless, except for the few presentation copies Cushingberry -- who often spends several hours copying, collating, stapling and organizing board information -- will still make for the press and the public.
New board members Mary Cordray and Geri Kinton said having all board information at their fingertips at all times will be useful. Cordray has frequently carried a tote full of annual reports and other documents the board has received in just a few months.
"I won't have to worry about losing a paper," she said. "When I want to look something up, it will all be accessible. That's so much nicer."