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.
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.