I am teaching a Grade 11 Communications Technology class this term. It is my first time teaching anything like this. The students are creating websites, making photo edits, producing, recording, and editing audio and video files, and other digital projects. As such, I thought it would be a great idea to have a paperless classroom this term. This is what I tried.
This is a platform made specifically for teachers and students. It looks like Facebook and is pretty easy to use. Only your students have access to the page and they have to sign up using a code that the website provides for you.
I have used it for almost two months now but I think I am going to stop using it for the simple fact that posts get buried in the timeline easily. This happens in Facebook too. Edmodo has modeled itself on the Facebook platform and I don’t think it is the best fit for education.
Google Drive is a great solution for sharing files with students. It is easy to organize your files into folders and you can choose how to share them. You can invite people via email or share a link for anyone to access the files.
Right now, I only have one folder set up for all of the classroom assignments. I also attached the class syllabus here.
Clicking on the Assignment folder will give you access to the subfolders for each assignment. I number and title every assignment so it easy to keep track of everything.
When you click on an assignment, you get all the materials needed to complete it. The word document is there for students to download and edit. They can then submit their work in a .doc file and I can add comments and send it back to them. It’s a great way to target feedback and keep digital records of student work.
Even though I use Gmail for pretty much all of my email communication, I make sure I only use my school email account to interact with students. This is just good practice and gives you protection as a teacher
I have been saving the rubrics and comments I make to each student in a PDF file that I store in a folder on my computer entitled “TGJ3M Portfolios.” Every student has his or her own folder and it serves as a portfolio of their work and marks.
Each student in my class created a blog for the first assignment of the term. Much of the work I want them to do can be completed there so they don’t have to hand in any papers or email me assignments. It saves us all a lot of time.
What Do You Do in Your Paperless Classroom?
I’d love to hear what tools and strategies you are using, please leave a comment below.
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