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No Paper-What?

October 25, 2012

You may have heard of paperless classes, or for some you have already been in one. Online classes are a great example of a paperless class. Everything in the class is done through the web. Teachers post assignments and students submit assignments via the web. Well, could this work in a brick and motar setting? The answer is yes, and it is already happening. If you haven’t gone paperless, you should think about the possibilities of what it can do for the educator and the student.

Advantages of the paperless class is student work does not have to die at the teacher’s desk or end up buried in a backpack. In these classes students can continue to build on their work and collaborate with others. Students create eportfolio’s that go with them. Imagine that if you are an 11th grade english teacher, you can now actually see the work of your student from 10th grade english instead of asking the teacher about what he or she remembers about the student. Since work is on the web, it can truely be on the web for others to see and use and build on. A wiki is a great example of how a student can have work to share with others and learn from them too.

The role of the teacher actually becomes more engaging as learning centers on trying to find true continuous mastery for students. Teachers can foster collaboration and sharing amongst students, classes, and other outside sources. Projects can be continued beyond one class, they can continue over time. Students in a science class could work on project continually from their freshman to senior year. Think of the potential of paperless before you say no. This type of learning benefits students and the academic environment. Once students leave school, they can take their eportfolio with them.

Measurement in learning can truly center on mastery and not just taking a test to prove mastery. Teachers can actually see improvement of students when using an eportfolio vs. seperate assignments being turned in over time. This can be measured. This type of measurement is more beneficial to students and actually shows improvement. Testing is not the best way to measure student improvement. This can be very empowering for students and teachers. It is good for education.

Paperless is great for building learning networks for students. Going back to the idea of Wikis, students in a paperless class have the advantage of sharing and collaborating because everything is generated for the web. Students learn how to build on their work and share with others in this pursuit. This is what education is all about.

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