Making the switch from paper to digital
My school has been rolling out a 1:1 laptop initiative over the course of four years, and this year all students have their own laptops. With technology literally at my students' fingertips at all times, I have been actively looking for ways to cut out the paper. Going digital not only saves paper, it also saves me time and stress. I use to think I should go into the copier repair biz. I spent so much time with the copier and could clear almost any paper jam. Now I rarely make copies and am not wasting time with paper jams. Going digital has also saved time with grading. Online tests using LinkIt; they are a lifesaver. Students get immediate feedback on their tests as soon as they are done. They don't have to wait for me to grade because I don't have to grade them! Yes, it's taken some time typing tests for four grade levels into the online system, but that's worth it in the long run because not only do I not have paper tests to grade, but all of the tests are ready to be assigned to next year's students. Grading other digital work is also much more convenient than grading stacks of papers. For most of the year, students turned in work through Edmodo, but we've recently switched over to Microsoft's Teacher Dashboard. With both, I can grade student work anywhere with just my cell phone! I can even leave comments on their work or ask for revisions. The most important effect of changing the tasks I assign to all digital, is the rethinking in what I'm asking students to do. By seeking out sites that are interactive or require creativity and application, my students are being assigned more engaging and interactive learning experiences.