I've been teaching in a 1:1 paperless classroom since 2014, and I learn something new about it every day. Just starting out? Here are some tips and resources for a smooth transition to digital learning.
1. Pick ONE part of your daily classroom routine to start with.
- Maybe it's your morning work, maybe it's your reading log, or maybe it's a Daily 5 center.
- Picking one portion of your day is not going to be as overwhelming for you or your students.
- Having just one activity makes it easy to plan, assess, and evaluate the progress you and your class are making.
- The first paperless activity I tried was morning work. It was a hit! Here's a post all about it.
- If you're in primary grades, try Sight Word Typing Centers!
- If you're in upper grades, try Calendar Math or Number of the Day!
- If you're looking for center work, try Word Work for Any Word List!
2. Just keep swimming!
- It's going to be hard, and you're going to have issues. It's ok!
- Issues include, but are not limited to: I can't connect! The battery died! The Internet is down! My screen is cracked!
- Have a contingency plan for emergencies, such as device sharing and alternate activities.
- You can assign one or two of your students to be the "Device Manager," and let small issues be diverted to them. Watch their confidence soar!
|Try word work using the Osmo!|
3. Decide how you will monitor or grade work.
- If you're using Google Classroom or One Drive, make a plan for grading assignments, and share that with your students so they know what to expect.
- Here's a post about how I use One Note in the classroom.
- With Google Classroom or One Drive, students can access their work from home, so homework assignments are a great way to get your feet with with digital learning, especially if you're short on devices in the classroom.
|Students work on typing skills, researching skills, presentation skills all at once.|
4. Once you've gotten the hang of one activity, add one more.
- Going paperless one activity at a time is the best way to work out the technology kinks.
- You want to make sure you're not sacrificing quality instruction to jump on the paperless bandwagon.
- Here's a really fun character traits activity using hashtags to try- kids will eat it right up!
|Students can participate in shared research. Group work takes on a whole new meaning!|
5. Don't forget to be a learner.
- Over the course of my first paperless year, I learned more about going paperless from my students than I could have possibly learned from a blog post, text-book, or e-course.
- There are going to be things you don't know how to do, but your students will, and vice versa. Let them teach and help each other.
- Create a mindset where sharing knowledge and intelligence about technology is the norm; you will reap the benefits of a strong classroom community and even stronger technology skills.
Good luck going paperless! If you have questions, please leave them in the comments and I'll do my best to help you.