My husband, Jeremy Brooks, who teaches technology at Humber College in Toronto, has designed a completely paperless classroom. In fact, students no longer have homework, they have prework. He has recorded his lectures and labs for viewing ahead of classtime. Students are expected to have engaged in independent learning before they arrive in class. Class time is devoted to refinement of skills and realtime assessment. All feedback is immediate. His students are raving about the process. His processes are fully integrated to the work students are completing. Grades upload automatically and students know at all times where they stand in relation to the rest of the class. He no longer brings home marking.
One challenge with a paperless classroom is managing digital student work. A great solution is to use DropBox.com. All the students will need accounts as well. Then create a shared folder for each student. When a student creates and saves digital work into their shared folder...it magically appears in your DropBox folder. This works way better than a network shared folder...trust me on this.
EverNote is another indispensable tool for the paperless classroom. It is such a powerful and easy way to collect and share just about anything.
I am a lucky teacher that has a SMARTBoard in her classroom, which has GREATLY reduced the paper waste. So, if you have a few thousand dollars available, I would suggest one of those. :)
If your school has a tight budget, like most do, you might need to try something else. My district has set up a student server that allows the students to save their work to the server and then be accessed by their teachers. For writing assignments, I have the students save their work to the server and then I use the notes feature in Word to give them feedback, pointers, corrections, etc. This allows the student to create several drafts of a paper without having to print over and over.
One other thing to consider is looking at how you structure your lessons and what you evaluate. It requires a paradigm shift, but I think many teachers assign and grade far too much work--creating a lot of unnecessary paper waste. Ask yourself if every handout is truly necessary. After I asked myself that very question, I realized that much of what I handed out was not needed--nor helpful! I was giving assignments to "catch" students not doing their work. What a waste of paper!!! Now I have them keep a notebook and create their own learning tools in those notebooks (notes, drafts, ideas, etc). No handouts/worksheets/packets. Some teachers might worry, "But they won't do it if they don't get points." Not true. Show your students the importance of each and every thing you do in your classroom, and they will do the work because it is valuable--not because they get points for it.
We want to utilize web 2.0 technologies to implement a collaboration/communication platform that schools, classrooms, teachers, parents, and students can use. Microblogs, blogs, and wikis are currently the weapons of choice for tech-savvy educators. We need to introduce to them a better way of collaborating and sharing information.
Education social networking is the best for your class. It helps to connect with your teachers and students and communicate with your class. It can also help you to introduce better way of collaborating blogs and sharing information freely through utilizing web 2.0 that can communicate among schools, classrooms, teachers, parents, and students.
Though education 2.0 students can participate at online group collaborating.Diipo’s Dashboards and apps keep students up-to-date, connect with other educators to share and exchange ideas and best practices on how to get the most out of Education 2.0 technologies.
Several have commented on the difficulty of bringing math work to the paperless dimension. I would be very hesitant to try to shoehorn my students into working their math on a computer. However, it has me wondering. Is there a SmartNotebook-type software application that works on an iPad? If a student could write their math work by hand, including drawings, and have the software capture and digitize their work, that would be worthwhile.