We received an email last week from our principal that the copy paper was about out, and no more would be ordered for the rest of the year. As you can imagine, it’s been mass hysteria around here since. I’ve been a little confused as to how we’ve run out of paper early since three of our grade levels are 1:1 with iPads. I mean, having all of this access to technology should reduce the amount of paper we use, right? I guess we’re still in the “getting used to using the tech in new ways” stage. Anywho, I decided to do share some tools and tricks with our teachers to help them reduce the amount of paper they’re using on a daily basis. Below are the tools I shared. Be sure to check back, as I’ll be adding more to this list! Please leave a comment as to how you have reduced the amount of paper in your classroom.
Edmodo: This is probably my favorite website right now. Do you have iPads? It’s an app too! Edmodo has been described as Facebook for school, but it’s so much more than that. Edmodo allows you to create classes with small groups, create assignments and assessments that students can submit, link your Google Docs account, assign badges to your students, connect with like-minded professional teachers from all over the world, and much more.
How can this reduce the consumption of paper in your classroom? With the ability to provide feedback and create assignments and assessments within the program, you are saving copies. By being able to link Google Docs accounts, students can complete writing assignments within Google Docs and submit them on Edmodo. Edmodo automatically generates a parent code, which allows parents to create an account to see only what their child is doing. Rather than sending notes home, simply use the parent code for communication.
Google Apps for Education: These include Gmail, Google Docs/Drive, Google Calendar, Google+, and much more. I could go on and on about how these apps can reduce the amount of paper in your classroom. To give you just a quick overview, you can use Gmail to communicate with students and parents. See my blog posts about using filters in Gmail to keep your inbox organized. You can use Google Docs to create shared folders in which you share lesson materials and assignments, and in which students submit assignments. Do your students have iPads? The Google Drive App is a MUST! Google Calendars can be shared with students and parents to notify them of upcoming assignments and announcements. Click here to see how you can use Google Calendars to lesson plan. Google+ is the social side of Google, where you can create communities for your students and parents.
Socrative: Socrative, like the previous two resources, are both web-based and app-based. Socrative allows you to create MC, T/F, and short answer quizzes. I love that you can even ask “on the fly” questions as you move through a lesson. Once an assessment if finished, you receive an Excel or CSV file with the responses. If it was MC or T/F, it’s already graded for you! Socrative is also nice because it has a pre-made exit ticket for your students, as well as a competitive review game your students can play in teams. If you’re classroom is 1:1, you’ll need to download both the Student and Teacher apps. No iPads or Andriod devices? No problem. Teachers simply sign in at t.socrative.com and students sign in at m.socrative.com/student. Like Edmodo, the ability to create quizzes and assignments that are taken and submited online or on a device, should greatly reduce the amount of paper you use in your class.
Want more information? Check out these two Prezi’s I found for a presentation I did this past summer on the topic of Going Paperless in the classroom.
Paperless Classroom by Steven Katz
Learning Online 24/7: Motivation to Get Digital by Keith O’Neal