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Innovative partnerships deliver on a commitment to “greener” learning environments

Analog Tools like the TUL system are sustainable, eco-friendly and personalize learning
University Business, July 2018

Talk about the importance of sustainability to the institutional success of colleges and universities.

Universities have to walk the walk in sustainability. That means more than placing recycle bins across campus. We must be concerned with reusability, with the lifespan of the products we buy and with our “green culture” on campus. Partners can help. For instance, Office Depot works with universities by offering several thousand “greener” products as part of their commitment to the planet and to products with high rates of reusability. Environmental responsibility and the need for higher ed to approach sustainability is at the forefront of school governance conversation. Colleges are seeking new and innovative solutions to address the sustainability question. One example is Office Depot’s reusable and recyclable TUL note-taking system, which integrates a guided-thinking approach to help students structure their note-taking and to help teachers more effectively plan. TUL is a reusable and eco-conscious option, and it offers a personalized approach to an analog learning tool.

How does the TUL system work?

We know that old-fashioned pen-on-paper note-taking enhances learning outcomes. TUL is a customized note- taking and planning system that includes an almost unlimited array of options, including individual ruled and non-ruled sheets, preprinted planning forms, note-taking tools and other add-ons that are conveniently snapped in and out of the TUL binder. TUL focuses on longer lifespans for the plastic and metal elements—writing instruments are refillable and use archival ink, which resists fading over time. Office Depot has combined the need for reusable and recyclable tools to create a system that goes beyond lines on the page and instead provides note-taking and classroom planning support that integrates guided thinking.

What are the educational benefits?

We know that hand-written note-taking reinforces learning better than typing for many students. Colleges and universities are mindful of the need for analog tools to support deeper thinking. As mounting evidence suggests that note-taking and other synthesis activities may be more effective with an analog pen, pencil and paper, these tools have also evolved. Providing staff, teachers and students with methods to structure their thinking through preprinted forms, planners and bullet journals transform a blank page into a guided experience for deeper comprehension.

What other factors are key parts of the equation?

Colleges and universities are concerned about a holistic approach to learning and leading.  Student success does not result from a “silver bullet”—new buildings, technology, curriculum.  Even analog tools—such as notebooks—fit into an ecosystem of learning. The college experience is expected to support deeper thinking and student success.

How are businesses like Office Depot supporting their higher ed partners in this regard?

I think suppliers—and Office Depot is a great example— are stepping up to support higher education in innovative ways. For instance, the sustainability team at Office Depot supports various initiatives that can help colleges and universities on their path to greener purchasing.  The Office Depot Green Book® is an amazing array of tools for campuses— from sanitation to recreation—which are both eco-conscious and supportive of learning outcomes.

How can institutions get started with TUL?

TUL solutions are available for professors and university staff through their Office Depot account manager, who can coordinate any special requests, such as monogramming or other customizations. TUL solutions are available for students at Office Depot retail locations and online. 

For more information, visit ODC2L.com/college