Creating a Paperless Classroom With Edmodo Quizzes & Assignments

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April 22nd, 2013
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This is a guest post by Kelley Taylor, a 6th grade teacher at Christ the King School in Lexington, KY. If you are interested in contributing to the Edmodo Blog, please complete this form.

Connect with Kelley on Edmodo or follow her @kelley1221

Background

I teach sixth grade language arts and religion at a Catholic school in Lexington, Kentucky. In the 2011-2012 school year, I piloted a 1:1 classroom using netbooks. The program was so successful that it led to the implementation of a 1:1 iPad program across the entire middle school for 2012-2013.

Going Paperless

Within the first month, I found that my classes were completely paperless. This was not really my intent when I began the 1:1 endeavor, but a wonderful bonus. As astonishing as it is to have a “paperless” classroom (especially language arts), being in a 1:1 environment has provided me with so many more benefits, including:

  • More efficiency in assessing and differentiating lessons
  • Documentation of class discussions (especially literature circles) and assignment submission
  • Increased opportunities for student participation and collaboration
  • Exposure to 21st century skills for students 

Making the Transition to Paperless

Before I was paperless, students would practice grammar skills exercises every day in class and then for homework. At the end of the week, they would staple them together and turn them in. I would spend all weekend grading them, sometimes realizing that students hadn’t grasped the learning objectives. This was frustrating, because I felt I had wasted a week of instruction.

I transitioned those same exercises into Edmodo Quizzes. This way, when students do the formative exercise after my lesson I can immediately see, before they leave the room, how well they understand. This is great because students will not practice something incorrectly over and over. I do the same for their homework. Since the feedback for both me and my students is immediate, I can see how well they did before they even get to school the next day.

Saving Time With Assignments

That brings me to my next time-saving, life-changing discovery – Edmodo Assignments. With the use of the “Assignment” feature, students can turn in any kind of document, I can annotate what they have written, and then they can make changes easily and quickly. I already had all of my worksheets and notes in Word documents, so it was easy to attach those to an assignment for students to fill out electronically. I can see those documents immediately when students submit them, meaning that I can have them graded before students walk into the room. I have my weekends back and it’s so much better than seeing all of those papers pile up in the “turn-in” tray and hauling them home!

Get Additional Tips

If you want more tips on how to use Edmodo to implement a paperless classroom, download my iTunes U course (Journey to a Paperless Classroom) on any iOS device.


33 Responses to “Creating a Paperless Classroom With Edmodo Quizzes & Assignments”

  1. Terry Haddow says:

    Kelly – I can’t connect to your ITunes Course. I would be interested in looking at it but when I hit the link it just wants to install ITunes U ( I already have it). I did a search but can’t seem to find it. Any other suggestions – so I can have a look ?
    By the way – are you standing in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge ?

  2. Kelley says:

    Try to go to scroll down to the bottom of the course catalogue and iTunes U and choose enroll. The enroll code is JH6-HA7-86C. You may have to wait for my confirmation, but I try to respond quickly.

    I am standing in front of the Sydney Harbor Bridge! Went there in the summer of 2012. Loved Sydney!

  3. Ms.BETTY says:

    Hello! TERRY, Nice to meet you and read about you!! I am from Argentina, Buenos Aires. I am a teacher of English at a Private Bilingual School. I teach primary level (2nd and 3rd form).
    I am really a new user at this web, So I still don´t know all the tools and benefits the EDMODO has.
    Best Regards!!!!!!

  4. Charming idea, Kelley. I’d like to do so………….

  5. This is my first year teaching in a Catholic school and the technology is very behind. How were you able to secure the funds for a 1:1 laptop initiative in a Cathloic School?

    Thanks,
    Maureen

    • Kelley says:

      Maureen, Thank you for checking out the blog. We worked really hard to fundraise so that the students did not have to pay for the devices. It was really important to us that we own the device so that we could manage them under our terms. Since we own them, we have the ability to wipe them and take them away if necessary. We have found that the students are so pleased to have them though that we really have had limited misuse problems.

    • Caroline says:

      Hi Kelley Maureen!

      I am very interested as well in how you secured funding for your initiative. Even though I am not yet in my own classroom, I know that many schools in our school district do not have the technology we need/want to be able to provide a 21st century education.

      I plan to visit iTunes U this evening!!

      ~Caroline

  6. Alicia says:

    Congratulations to you. This is definitely an ideal situation. Unfortunately, there are many, probably most, teachers who do not have this access to technology. For example, I don’t have a smartboard and not even one student computer in my classroom. Also, computer labs are hard to get into as they are often closed due to testing. You pretty much have to book time before school starts if you plan to get in anytime throughout the year. I don’t mean to rant because I’m always looking for ways to get around such barriers. However, it’s very frustrating to have all these ideas and dreams of truly being a 21st century teacher (like “they” want) when you’re in a 20th century school with 19th-20th century tools.

    • Kelley says:

      Alicia, I completely understand your frustration. I am very blessed to work with these devices in an ‘ideal’ situation. I would suggest trying to use Edmodo for Enrichment or even better, if most students have internet at home, for homework.

  7. Jelle Feenstra says:

    Kelley – i get a message after giving in the code that this code is not valid. Do I have to use another one or is it not valid in The Netherlands?

    • Kelley says:

      I am thinking that it is because my class is full. I cannot believe all the people that have joined! I am working on making the class bigger so that more people can have access. I will let you know once it is up and running. I will post here. Thank you for your interest!

  8. Joe Tabay says:

    Kelley
    The problem I ran into is some of the worksheets I would like to put online I have retype as quizzes, and push them out that way. I run into the problem if I do not change the time allowed for the students to complete the lessons. Is there another way around this, because I would love to be about 75% paperless next, and I also like the instant feedback the students get.

    Thanks

    • Kelley says:

      Yes. If it is something you want the students to work on over a period of time, I would use the assignment feature. When I do this, I have students open the attachment and copy it into Pages, Word, or Google Drive. From there they can edit and add to it. They will turn it in as an attachment and then you can annotate it. This is a great feature for writing workshop or an assignment with multiple drafts because students can resubmit the document to show drafts. This is available if you do not ‘grade’ it. If you put a grade it, students can reply with a comment.

  9. Denise Waite says:

    I, too, have tried accessing your video on ITunesU, but am unable to pull it up?

    • Kelley Taylor says:

      I am thinking that it is because my class is full. I cannot believe all the people that have joined! I am working on making the class bigger so that more people can have access. I will let you know once it is up and running. I will post here. Thank you for your interest!
      Reply

  10. Susan says:

    What about the copyright issues of moving the tests to the computer? If you did not create the tests yourself from scratch this could be an issue.

  11. Veselina Panovska-Handeva says:

    I, too, have tried accessing your video on ITunesU, but am unable to pull it up.
    Regards-Vesy

  12. Kelley says:

    Please see above- my class is full. I am working on opening it up more. :)

  13. Sarah says:

    Wow this is excellent! I started using Edmodo this year, but I haven’t really utilized the quiz module. Thanks for the tip!

  14. Enrique says:

    Hi Kelly I’ve read your publication, it’s wonderful,you have a great course on implementing a paperless classroom.It would be nice If I could participate as well with the code you just gave away,is it possible?
    Best regards..

    • Kelley says:

      Enrique, I promise I am not ignoring you! I am waiting to be approved for more spots in my class from iTunes U. I will let you know when more space opens up.

  15. Lisa says:

    Hi Kelley,
    I would love to go paperless! However, each year I have parents that demand to see some ‘work’ that their child has done. I have tried to explain that they CAN see the work–it’s as close as the nearest internet connection. They still insist on the paper copy. How do you respond to parents who insist on the paper and pencil?
    Thanks
    Lisa

    • Kelley says:

      That is a tricky one, Lisa. I am blessed to have a very supportive administration that backed me up on this. When I have parents complain, I tell them that one of the benefits of Edmodo is that they can see EVERYTHING that we do in class. Also, with quizzes I can see how long a student spend on his/her work. I take the time to have student’s sit with parents and pull up documents with comments and quiz results so that they can show all of us that they know how to pull up all class work and see feedback.
      I also make all students show me that they know how to do this at the very beginning of the year. This enables me to tell complaining parents that I know without a doubt that their child knows how to pull this up for them to see.
      Next year, my school plans to have a parent Edmodo night for all 6th grade parents and students where we go through these things.

  16. Cindy says:

    Kelley,

    I’ve been trying to get this to work for me, but I’m not sure I understand the process exactly. I’m working with two schools. One is going 1-to-1 on iPads next year and want to use Edmodo. They don’t have “Pages” on their iPads, but they do have access to Google Drive / Google Docs. The other school is also going 1-to-1 on iPads and wants to use Edmodo, but they do not have “Pages” either, PLUS the school administrators will not authorize the students having Google accounts, so they can’t use Google Docs / Drive. I set up a dummy Teacher & Student account in Edmodo for each school so that I could play with the iPad interaction, but the snag seems to be that the Word doc attached to the assignment will not download to the student’s iPad. It opens in another browser window, but doesn’t download, so the student cannot work on it and then submit it in fulfillment of the assignment. I really want to help both these schools out, but I haven’t been able to figure out how to make this process work for them. What am I doing wrong here?

  17. Kelley says:

    As for the students who have Google Docs, the accounts for Google Docs and Edmodo actually sync in the “Backpack”feature. Students just need to go to their backpack, click Google Docs, and then sign in. When it is time for them to turn in an assignment,students will click “Turn in” then Backpack, then Google Docs. Their documents will be listed. One thing you want to make sure students do is mark their teacher as an editor in the document. If this is not done, the teacher will not be able to annotate.

    I would highly recommend that the school that does not have Google docs get a Google for Education account. If they do that then they can block students from receiving outside emails except from teachers. That is what we did. We found it nearly impossible for us to do anything unless we had these accounts. For now, students could type responses in the comment section.

    As for downloading in another browser, this is not a problem for us because we have Pages. I think for you though it should still work. When the document opens for you in another browser, at the top of the screen you should see “Open in..” if you click that you should have options of the apps that can open that document so it can be edited. Hopefully, one will be Google Docs. This works only through Safari and not through the Edmodo App. If I have a document that doesn’t have any special formatting, like tables, I have students just copy and paste from the viewer window through the Edmodo app. If I do have tables or any other formatting, I instruct them to open through Safari so they have that “Open in” option. Hope that helps!

  18. Kelley says:

    If you are interested in more information please see my blog:
    http://journeytopaperlessclassroom.wordpress.com!

  19. .. I just found your very interesting post about assingnments in edmodo – my experiences is, thats assignments & quizzes in edmodo are very useful learning-options :-) I specially like the fluid and easy creation “on the go” – which I can manage just in in worshop “on the fly” …

    I am very exited about yout iTunesU course !

    Greetings from Germany: here exists until now only a very small edmoto community, mostly German Teachers – as a foreign language – but growing :-)
    Heiko Idensen

  20. Lilies Sabarati says:

    Congratulate to you Katy. do you only explain the material in class? How can you make the learning in class be more interesting. thank you.

  21. Lilies Sabarati says:

    I am sorry. I mean congratulation to you Kelley.

  22. David says:

    Kelly, it is refreshing to find out that I am not alone. I teach 6th English in Fremont, NE and am in my second year of running a paperless classroom using Edmodo. You are absolutely correct with regard to the use of Quizzes and Assignments. I truly enjoy its functionality for annotating on uploaded papers and handouts. It’s also cool to be able to collaborate with students at any time; communicate with parents (using the students’ account); grade papers while mobile.

    Keep it up!

    David

  23. Philip says:

    For more quiz options try out the Edmodo app “Cloze Quiz Builder” by Learnclick. The available features are especially useful for language teachers.

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