teaching with the tools of a digital world

“Paperless Fridays” has become paperless… period.


A while back I posted a goal from my 30 Goals Challenge about initiating Paperless Fridays. My Paperless Fridays goal have become a beast of its own, I haven’t handed out a piece of paper or stood in a copy machine line since that day! I have taken to using Google Docs with my students a lot more regularly and I have started using my Camtasia software more frequently, as well. As I posted earlier, the end of last week I was at the Math and Science Teacher Conference at Casper College in Casper, Wyoming. While away from my classes I bypassed the substitute by communicating directly with my students through daily assignment emails, Camtasia screen capture videos detailing assignments, Skype running in my classroom, a private chat room and email throughout the day. This allowed for a much less disrupted classroom when I returned than is common following a substitute.

I have been using Google Forms to collect student responses and using Camtasia to build short tutorials for both technological challenges students may face and instructions for completing assignments. We work through all of these instructions in class, but these tutorials stand in as my backup when students are absent or at school sponsored activities or even if they just forget an aspect of the assignment. These tutorials have given me a tool to say, “Go check the video, ask a neighbor and if you still have questions then ask.” This has been especially helpful for those students who chronically tune out instructions.

I have had a number of students begin to take greater advantage of these technologies outside of class as well. I have always offered and given my school email to students and asked them to contact me whenever they have questions, yet they rarely have. This last week or so, however, I have had students contact me via email and Google Docs’ chat function while they are working on assignments at school, home and wherever else. I feel this has helped students to be more productive outside of class. Students aren’t waiting until the next day to ask their questions and using that as a reason to fall behind. They are learning to leverage these technologies to learn when they need to.

So far teaching paperless has been great!


Author: londondj0430

First year High School Science Teacher (Physics, Chemistry, Earth Science), Knowles Science Teaching Fellow, Digital Educator

5 thoughts on ““Paperless Fridays” has become paperless… period.

  1. Pingback: The Teaching Tips Machine

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  3. Congrats on the paperless effort! You know I haven’t used paper in my schooling for the last year and a half. Of course, there is that one class that always insists on handing me notes every week. I always think, “that is going to end up in the trash bin on my way out of class today.” I love it, instead of all the folders and binders all I carry is the laptop.
    I was going to mention before, we are using RWpoll in our classes. Probably, similar to what you use in your class. One of our profs is quite proficient at it, he lets us pick teams at the beginning of class then pulls up all our stats at the end. It is pretty cool, of course there are a many more people in my class–115. Keep up the good work!

  4. Pingback: Are mobile phones within the class making you crazy? | COMPANYBLOGONLINE

  5. Some thoughts, not necessarily based upon this posting:

    Since you can publish WordPress blog postings via email, and by phone call, a free WP site becomes a good way for students to take notes. Using an Android phone, or an iPad2, they can also take photos of content on the whiteboard, or of handwritten notes. An Apple Wireless Keyboard, with an iPad, makes it possible to type quicker than you can write by hand. Even if you don’t have a WIFI connection at the time, you can still take notes, and when the connection is re-established, your notes get posted to the site. By posting to a specific “category,” you can create an RSS feed for each course for which you are taking notes, but use only one WP site. *WP is mobile friendly, delivering content in a “dumbed down” form so that mobile devices can view it more easily.

    So, why not deliver content that speaks to the device? If students are going to use phones to access content, then given them audio versions of your blog text postings.

    “From Blog Text to ODIOGO to USB to My Auto” (automating the process of creating an audio transcription of your text blog postings)

    “WordPress on a Stick” (Why run WP from a flash drive? A great presentation tool…)

    “Mobile Barcoder” is a plugin for Firefox, which makes it easy to generate a QR code for the page URL, any link on the page, and/or selected text. You mouse-over the app icon to pop-up the QR image.

    IdeaScale for crowd sourcing (let your students come up with choices, and then everybody votes the best ideas to the top):

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