Monday, August 1, 2016

Going Paperless in your Classroom? Why?

Somehow going paperless got mixed up with ed-tech and the idea of transforming classrooms with technology.  Saving paper is a good thing. But in and of itself, it has very little to do with effective tech integration. Why use digital technology to mark up pdfs and grade papers when it is easier to do it with paper? The question we should be asking is, "Does technology improve the task?", not "Am I saving paper?". Saving paper should be a byproduct and not a goal. When I first 1-2-1, I got this confused. I spent much needless aggravation trying to go paperless.

The point of digital technology is that information is ubiquitous, it can be accessed anywhere through many different ways. The whole very model of teacher as the font of information can and should be changed. That's what technology allows us to do.

By the way, I do think kids should use technology when writing papers. Why? Because with Google Docs I can:
1) check students' revision histories
2) have them build bibliographies instantly and without fuss
3) using Draftback, actually view a "movie" of the student writing the paper.
4) give feedback in real time
5) allow students to collaborate in real time from separate locations on the same paper.

Alice Keeler has written extensively about this. Check her out. I remain amazed by her volume and usefulness of her output.

.@wolfbioedu @KLBoles @tstice

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