Paperless classroom

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Aliceacc, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 7, 2013

    Take 2.


    Sorry, I didn't want to hijack the other thread.

    A few of us were talking about implementing a policy aimed at going paperless. We were thinking of ending the practice of running off worksheets. The thought would be that any worksheets we used would be posted on our individual web pages for the kids to print up and use.

    I do have some questions for anyone who has done this, particulary with math:
    - how do you handle the "my printer broke/ran out of toner" excuse?
    - how much lead time to you give to kids to print up a copy of the worksheet? (Our kids do NOT use Ipads or other tablets in class.)
    - What do you do when you need to change your plans? I'm thinking in particular of the times when I realize that I need an extra day on a topic and run off a sheet quickly. Our textbook is out of print, so asking kids to bring books isn't a possibility.
    - Likewise, how do you handle leaving an assignment if you have to call in sick, but haven't had enough lead time to have them print up a worksheet?

    What other things should we consider before implementing such a policy change?
     
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  3. RadiantBerg

    RadiantBerg Cohort

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    What would be the aim of that? I feel like it idea behind it is to be environmentally friendly/save trees etc., but if the kids have to print out all of the worksheets anyway, it is using the same amount of paper and creating new headaches. I guess it would save the school some money, but I know for a fact I have some kids who would never print the sheets....some of them don't even do the sheets when I hand it to them :)
     
  4. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Precisely, for a class to be truly "paperless", then it would mean just that. No paper.

    If anything, printer toner costs more than copier toner and that would be more inefficient.

    I would think in order for something like this to work, each family would need something like Adobe Acrobat (not the reader, but the full version). Then, the family would download the PDF, import it into their Acrobat program, and the students could then "edit" it" (by entering the information (AKA answering the questions)). The student(s) would then need to save it back (as the PDF) and then send it to their teacher (either via email or uploading to a server/Cloud-based system). Then, the teacher would grade it (again, using Acrobat Reader, for example) and then send it back to the family to see the results.

    That would be truly paperless.
     
  5. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Nov 7, 2013

    Your students need a way to submit assignments digitally, otherwise you aren't making any headway with the paperless idea.
     
  6. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 7, 2013

    ... probably better via PM.
     
  7. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Yeah, I really don't think this is a good idea if your kids are just printing out the assignments. Printing at home with an inkjet is much more expensive than the laser copier at a school, and there's a ton of room for things to go wrong. There are lots of subscription services out there, however, if you want to run the class with online assignments and aren't sure about how to make the editable PDFs that everyone can use. You could research what online schools and colleges with online classes use.
     
  8. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Why is this better via PM?...
     
  9. Jeky

    Jeky Comrade

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    Yeah I thought the whole idea behind going paperless was to get rid of worksheets, not to find another way giving them to students. Ideally students would be collaborating on Google Docs and/or submitting digital assignments using a stylus.
     
  10. anant

    anant Rookie

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    Nov 8, 2013

    I really don't think this is a good idea if your kids are just printing out the assignments.if you really want to education without paper than try a complete electronic device facility like laptop tablet and other drives where student store our project ..
     
  11. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Nov 8, 2013

    So, IF this this the only option you have, I'll try to answer these ...

    I know these are not helpful responses, but I tried.
     
  12. smurfette

    smurfette Habitué

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    I agree that having students print out worksheets is not going paperless, just transferring costs from the school to the parent. A way to go paperless that doesn't incur costs on the parents would be to post the worksheets online, create a form in Google Docs where the students could input their answers electronically, and then download their answers into a spreadsheet. Not sure if this is great for math, because then you don't see the process involved in getting the answer.

    If you do go the route of having students print out worksheets, I don't think the printer not working is always another case of "the dog ate my homework." The other day I was having problems printing out boarding passes for my guests at 10 p.m. Nothing near me is open that sells ink or repairs printers at that time, so if I hadn't been able to troubleshoot my printer, my guests would not have had boarding passes in the morning. We cannot expect all students/parents to be printer geniuses. You might want to have a system where students whose printer is having problems can come in first thing in the morning (by a certain time) to a place where they can get a copy of the worksheet printed off, with a parent's note of explanation/e-mail from the parent. Not having a parent note would be like "the dog ate my homework."

    Of course, if you are posting worksheets a week in advance, like ku_alum suggests, then you could require the students whose printers aren't working to bring the parent note in advance to get copies of the homework.

    While it won't reduce the amount of paper used, another option is to post the worksheets online and have the students do the work in notebooks. At least it would save on ink/toner, and you would be able to see if they are doing the work or find mistakes in their process.

    Having to print off a copy of a worksheet for sub plans or a last minute change of plans seems acceptable. Or, have the sub put the problems on the board and have students write in notebooks.
     
  13. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    I use google templates so that students can edit any worksheet/assignment that I put on there. Then they just make sure that they put it in their google drive folder that is already shared with me.

    I hear some of the concerns about internet not working etc.... I am lucky enough to have exceptional internet and the kids do not have many problems with technology not working.

    There are times when I just print stuff out, but not very often. The same amount of time it takes to print something out, is about the same amount it takes to submit it as a template on google docs.

    The best part about google is ... its all free!
     
  14. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    With Google Templates, are they able to change the actual template? Or are they only able to "fill in the blanks" (for example)?
     
  15. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Nov 8, 2013

    Alice-is your school considering going 1-to-1? Your post got me curious-are a lot of private schools 1-to-1? You might not know that, maybe others will. I just wondered if it might be part of the tuition, to purchase a laptop. :)

    About internet, for anyone...I would consider my own family middle-class, but right now we are going through some issues, and we have disconnected our internet. We were looking to lean some parts of our life, and that was the first thing that could go. We still have our phones, so we're still "connected", but we realized that 1) it was a huge expense that we were using for nothing much more than Facebook and wasting time, and 2) our family was spending more time staring at a screen than together. So my point is, access isn't a given in all houses. :)
     
  16. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    I have 4 desktop computers in my classroom to be shared by my 12 students, and there is no computer lab in my school. Additionally, Very few of my kids have computers at home. Therefore, a dramatic shift in my students' access to technology would have to take place before we could go paperless.
     
  17. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Nov 8, 2013

    This is in response to your Google Docs question in the other thread. Didn't see that you made a new one sorry, and not sure if you're still checking the old one!

    Alice: Mostly it's an ease of use thing.

    So I keep all of my files in Google Docs anyway, because it's easy to organize and file and access from anywhere.

    Because my files are already in Google Docs, all I have to do is drag whatever lessons I am using into a folder that is shared to the world, just like I would with a regular windows file system. Then it's automatically there.

    If you were to post it to your website, usually what you'd have to do is to log into your website, open the page that you use to upload things, upload your file, and put a link to that specific file on your webpage somewhere.

    There are lot more steps. With Google docs, once you initially just put the link to the folder up, anything you add to the folder gets automatically added.
     
  18. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Nov 8, 2013

    I only have students print out worksheets if they're absent, otherwise I always have hardcopies in my absent work folder. It's mainly up on the website for students who are leaving for extended vacations mid year and want to stay caught up, or are sick for extended periods of time.

    Since that is the case, they always have extra time to print things out so if their printer isn't working they'll have to solve that on their own by either finding another computer with a working printer or buy some toner.

    They way you're thinking of implementing paperless (which again isn't something I think is necessarily better than having a paper-ful? classroom) I think would be fraught with a lot of problems.

    When most people think paperless, they mean doing their worksheets digitally on a tablet or laptop.
     
  19. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Also if you do get tablets or something, I would recommend having them use a handwriting or whiteboard app of some type where they can do their work in a large white space and put in their answers. I'm certain there are apps that integrate this with math somehow.
     
  20. eightiesguy

    eightiesguy Rookie

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    I think it's very hard to go totally paperless in a math class. I'm not totally paperless. I use worksheets a couple of times a week, and test/quizes are still paper and pencil. We have a classroom set of textbooks (which I haven't used at all), and the students all have digital assess to their textbook.

    We switched to Pearson Textbooks this year (except Pre-Calc and Calculus, those are Larson books). They have a free digital component to their textbook. It's really nice... videos, interactive examples, ebook... For homework, they have a site called mathxl. It costs $15 per year per student. There seems to be a limited number of geometry problems for our text, but you have access to all of the books that Pearson publishes and can use them in your homework assignments. I have the students organize their work (just like they would with a traditional textbook), and do "spot checks" randomly once or twice a week.

    For Calculus and Pre-calculus we use the Larson series of textbooks. There is a website called webassign. It costs $18 a year, and it gives the student access to the textbook and a wide selection of homework homework (around 60 to choose from per section).

    One of the nice things about both sites is that they will change the problem for every student.

    Most students seem to like it. Ones that don't have internet can log in and print their assignment and take it home. They can then log back in and enter their answers into the website. I usually give 2-3 days to complete the assignment.
     
  21. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    One suggestion I have for this is Educreations, a free app where students may use an interactive white board. They can record their drawings, and even their voices. A teacher can then upload/save their work on the Educreation website.

    I haven't used it, but many colleagues rave about it.
     
  22. Jeky

    Jeky Comrade

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    Ted - I love educreations! As of right now I use it to post short tutoring/homework help videos to my class website, but I am definitely looking into the students using it at some point! How cool would it be to assign a homework problem for math and have the students make their own video explaining the concept and writing down their steps! I love the voice recording aspect of it.
     
  23. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Thanks for the affirmation, Jeky. :)

    Yes, I want to start using it as you're using it. Create tutorials I can place on my website for those students who might need extra help on how to solve something.

    I just need the time to do it. Rare commodity! :)
     
  24. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    Ted,
    yes they can actually change the actual template. Once they have it they can edit it however they want. For example I did a facebook profile which was basically a google presentation (like powerpoint), and they edited it so it was about the characters in the novel that we are reading. THey added pictures, writing, put in videos etc.
     
  25. teacherguy111

    teacherguy111 Cohort

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    But you do have to make it a google doc before it can be a google template I believe. Sometimes when I try and take something that I have on word and copy and paste to make it a google doc, the formatting messes up. That can be annoying, but I only have to do it once then it will be on there from now on, if I do that assignment in years following.
     
  26. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    My son attends a public school that considers itself paperless. His math text is online. Worksheets are on Google put never prints them. He also does assignments for IXL math. Not sure how he does the computation parts.

    For language arts, he even works with peers from home on them.

    Chromebooks are brought home from school...sometimes i-pads too. Google 'magically' recalls and saves it even without wifi.

    I have 'signed' permission slips with a code and my signature appears after I submit.
     
  27. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Rabbitt, if you don't mind me asking, how do you and your son feel about his school being paperless?
     
  28. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    At first, I was hesitant.
    Now, I love it. Still unsure how I would do it in lower elem but I am beginning to realize it's quite possible.

    Everything is easy to find online.
    We signed up for text messages too. We get a text for only the things we checked off such as missing work, grades lower than X, gradepoint lower than XX, emails from teacher, school emergency, ill child, newsletter, etc.

    Our son switched districts this year, by our choice, so paperless was new to us. He loves it. What I really like is he cannot say things like "I forgot it at school" or "I'm unsure if my test is Tuesday." It's all there with clicks and submits.
     
  29. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Try http://www.infuselearning.com/ it has all kinds of ways for students to respond instantly in class. You make quizzes tests, worksheets, show your work, whatever you need it to do.
     
  30. blazer

    blazer Connoisseur

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    How does this paperless stuff sit with those schools where the teachers have to buy supplies for the kids as the parents can't or won't supply them? Will the teachers be expected to supply the hardware for the students?
     
  31. PeacefulTeacher

    PeacefulTeacher New Member

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    Have you heard of MyBigCampus? It is a web site where teachers can post assignments, and then students in their classes can log on and complete the assignment. No printing is necessary. The teacher can log in and check all the student responses. There are discussion forums, and even the Superintendent from our BOE has a blog on it. You still have to consider whether all of your students have internet access. That is not a guarantee in my area.
     
  32. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    I do math almost paperless. We do practice on individual whiteboards. I only do assessments on paper. I am toying with posting word problems to Edmodo for them to discuss/solve together. But I'm not sure how to go completely digital and still see their work. I like seeing what they want to erase, cross out, etc.
     
  33. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I'm in a private high school. Our kids access their report cards and progress grades online. The only ones for whom internet access might still be an issue are the ones still displaced from Sandy. But after a year, those would be, by far, the exceptions.
     
  34. Historyteaching

    Historyteaching Cohort

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    There are a few good websites that allow students to send you things via email.

    Do they have easy access to the library or computer lab that has a printer where they can print things when necessary? Or the local library-put the items on your website.

    There is a guy that I follow is blog and he went paperless (last year I think) He wrote about it-though he is English he may be of assistance. I can PM you some information if you want.

    I am on a mission to go paperless or semi as well..
     
  35. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I hate the idea of paperless-especially for math! The printing that you propose simply wouldn't work in my district and I think it's much easier for a teacher to hand out worksheets (unless there is a budget problem of course).
     
  36. CK-12Foundation

    CK-12Foundation New Member

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    Have you tried to use the numerous resources out there for digital worksheets that can be completed and turned in online? Not only saves school printing costs, but saves paper when students don't have to print either. Kids these days are familiar enough with technology to handle it.
     
  37. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Are there any specific ones you would reccommend? Particulary those appropriate to high school math?

    Oh, and by the way, welcome to A to Z!!
     

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