Rationale for the Paperless ClassroomI believe there are three major benefits to creating a "green," or paperless, classroom. Going paperless in the classroom reduces paper waste, which means that less energy is used in the making of paper and that fewer natural resources are destroyed.
It also creates a conservation mind-set in students and educates them on related issues. It creates "teachable" moments that often carry over into the home. Creating a paperless classroom also allows the teacher to introduce new technologies to students.
Program HighlightsOne of the many IPAD applications that has allowed my classes to make this transition to a paperless classroom is the program EDMODO. Throughout my social studies lessons I have found ways to incorporate the social networking site to disperse assignments, spark conversations, and generate a positive platform of sharing information.
Edmodo provides teachers and students a secure place to connect and collaborate, share content and educational applications, and access homework, grades, class discussions and notifications. The program encourages a variety of communication in a variety of methods.
One of the things I tell my students when I initially introduce them to Edmodo is to embrace positive communication. I challenge my students to give up their typical ways of expressing themselves on other social sites and I encourage them to embrace positive communication. My class uses Edmodo as a ‘safe’ Facebook. The kids like the no drama zone, and the fact that they can send a message to me or the group and get an answer about just about anything. We have used it for current events assignments, summaries but my favorite is the poll.
The application has opened up an entirely new world for my students. They are learning that they can communicate through Edmodo in a way that can be constructive and thought provoking. As with many things, students need to know and understand what is expected of them. In particular, I use Edmodo to list assignments, answer questions, and communicate with parents. What I like most is that I can add assignments to the calendar that are automatically listed as either an assignment or an upcoming event. Assignments have past due dates while events simply remind the student there’s something due.