Monday, March 7, 2016

Strategies for the Paperless Classroom

    Paperless Wednesdays have returned, but there is hope. You can go paperless. Here are some strategies to help.

·         Teacher Websites- This is your best bet. Upload homework, projects, your syllabus and calendar to your website for students to view at their leisure. A good many students forget their school supplies or bookbags so worksheets and handouts get lost far too often. Create an online home for these using or Tutorials for these are held periodically, but you can schedule a one on one with me if you like.
·         Edmodo- Get an account and you’ll be able to receive essays and projects anytime and annotate them, all without ever printing a single page. Here’s a handy tutorial on how to annotate. . If you’re feeling adventurous, ask Jan Dickerson about Google Classroom.
·         Google Docs- A simple way to collect assignments online is to create a shared folder using Google Docs. Share the link with your class and students can drop in assignments at will. TIP: Have students give all assignments the same name in the file (ie. StudentFirstInitial.StudentLastName.AssignmentName.ClassPeriod) You can also create a simple folder to pick up all assignments.
·         Evernote- Students can download this app to their phones and take notes, snap pictures of the powerpoint slides and record your lecture all with the same app. (Don’t be afraid of their phones, make them use them to their intellectual benefit)
·         Quizlet- Forget paper pop quizzes and move into the digital age with Quizlet. Students can easily take a quiz and send you the results without picking up a pen.

More Options:
o   Use Edmodo or Quizlet for weekly quizzes
o   Present PowerPoints via
o   Have students Blog via instead of turning in Discussion Questions or short free response
o   Use a document camera instead of making copies. You can check these out from the library.
o   Scan book chapters or excerpts to your Flash Drive and then upload them to Google Drive or Edmodo
o   Record class discussions and small group discussion with the iPad or using a student’s cell phone
o   Have students create digital portfolios, record short bits of lecture and take snapshots of powerpoint slides with Evernote

Using QR Codes

How They Work
A student, teacher or anyone downloads a QR reader to their smartphone (Just go to your preferred app store and search QR reader. They are free). When you see a QR code you open your reader and hover the phone over the code as if you were taking a picture. Your reader will soon “find” the code and direct you to where it leads.

Creating Your Own Codes:
  • Make sure you have a public web address (url) to your document, site, etc. If you’re using student work you can have them upload the document to Google Docs (If you or the student has a gmail account, you already have a Docs account). If you make the document public, it will give you a web address.
  • Go to and enter your link into the space provided and it will create a unique qr code for you. It will look like this:

  • You can then right click and copy the code. Paste it to a document and print it so you can post anywhere you like. This is great for digital work that students provide.

  • Have students create an abstract to their digital project and then post them on your bulletin board along with the QR code
  • Post QR codes into your study guides that link to helpful lab demonstrations, Khan academy explanations, or further reading
  • Post QR codes to the audiobook version of the assigned reading for students with additional needs