How to go paperless

paperless classroomDon’t expect to go paperless straight away. Be prepared to work at it methodically and to work through the processes and discovery to find the best way . With some classes and age groups it is easier than others. I have to work with laptops and iPads and each has different challenges for freeing my classroom and my life from paper. The spectre of a power black out can be real to some teachers. I still have a white board I can use with the white board marker. If I had no paper AT ALL and no electricity I’d use the whiteboard and work on a whole class approach and then group work. I have worksheets in my cupboard but if I had none, I am a teacher. I can teach for a lesson without paper and books. Power black outs are rare so I am not running on the notion this is my focus for how I manage paperless. It’s important to have electronic copies of texts since they are the framework for your course. You then need electronic resources for each topic and unit – images, videos, docs.I make a lot of these resources and then they really do suit my clientele and I can change them easily to set the next group of students.  I also have time filler software, apps and online sites so we can do some boardwork together to get us settled into the lesson or we do some language and linguistic training online. We can do puzzles, grammar training, thinking. We have an online training site for our subject area too and the students can access than from any device at any time. Money we have save has gone into paying for this. It is critical to back your major resources up online and offline so I have my materials stored on my blog, YouTube, SlideShare, Pinterest etc and I have file backups on drives and other computers. Uploading finished work was the biggest challenge for me. We have OwnCloud for bigger files and we use our LMS. I also use Showbie with the year 8s and their iPads just for a change and that works well. I find with electronic resources I can tailor my lessons far better to the students I actually have. I am kept on track by my text and then the performance indicators for my subject and for my professional development. Electronic work can be shared and it can be used in a very positive way. Students can see their growth very clearly and they can see their learning gaps. We share our work on the IWB and in small groups and they like that. One of the real advantages of organising your materials electronically is that a new teacher to the course has a ready made set of resources to scaffold them into that area of teaching. That kind of support is vital to underpinning continuity and levels of learning for students.

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