“My dog ate my homework.” Many teachers over the years have been subject to this (among other excuses) to explain missing assignments. What if there was a way to keep assignments somewhere even Fido can’t reach?
Digital is the medium of this “millennial” generation. Students using digital devices to write papers, do research and take notes ranges from 70-82%. (click to see infographic)
So why not match their curriculum to the way they live? It makes learning more relevant to students’ lives! Here is an example of a paperless classroom
Teachers can easily continue their daily instruction without paper. Here are some examples of ways to go paperless:
Convert documents to PDF
“But I’ve got stuff on paper that I want to keep.” No problem! Scanning old worksheets, readings, etc. and converting them to PDFs will make them digital and easier to share with students. It may take some time at first, but soon you will be on the path to a paperless classroom!
Assign an ePortfolio project
Not only does an ePortfolio create one place for students to manage and save all of their coursework, it helps students build an assortment of works to demonstrate their skills, etc. ePortfolios can be hosted online and backed up on data disc.
Use blogs for writing assignments
Who needs paper and pen?! Blogs are great for written assignments. Students can use more creativity by adding photos, video, etc. and publish their writing for an audience. Use comments for peer to peer feedback. You can even have a collaborative blog where the whole class contributes ideas.
Record class lessons
You can easily create screen casts of your lessons a la Khan Academy; see 12 Screencasting Tools for Creating Video Tutorials to find the tools. When lessons are shared online, students can rewind and pause without missing any important information. The ability to revisit lessons at home will help students review difficult concepts and prepare for exams.
Save paper & costs with ebooks
When school budgets today are often limited, paperless classrooms can actually cut costs! Reduced printing costs, less paper waste and textbook savings. The average cost of a high school textbook is $120, while e books cost approximately $19.99 each. There are also many open source textbook options such as Flexbooks available online, no eReader necessary!
Here is a great Prezi presentation from Keith O’Neal of Reynoldsburg City Schools for more ideas
Remember that technology is not foolproof! Always back up your digital content, and have a backup plan in case you encounter a problem.
How are you cutting paper out of your teaching?