Paperless Classroom does not mean no paper?

I think I have been thinking about the paperless classroom all wrong. In my head, I envisioned a class where everything was done on the computer, no pencil and notebook in sight. And though I felt like this was the line I had to tow, as a promoter of technology in the classroom and someone who is acutely aware of the amount of paper waste that happens in my library, I never felt very comfortable with the idea.


I guess because for something to enter my brain, I need to take the time to write it down. Then I need to make arrows that lead to following ideas. Then I have to circle things and make more arrows and then write notes in the margin.

My day to day management also requires paper. Every week I begin with writing a list on graph paper. I keep it by my computer and when I get distracted I take my eyes away from the screen and look at my list. Just the fact of writing it down by hand means that I will remember I have to do it – the looking at the list is only secondary.

The results of this study by the Association for Psychological Science, which shows that writing notes by hand is better for long-term comprehension, as well as the article below about the benefits of doodling, demonstrates that I am not the only one who finds taking notes beneficial.

Then it occurred to me that I was getting the wrong idea – the paperless classroom does not mean no paper. It doesn’t mean that students should not take notes in whatever way they feel is more advantageous to them.

I have to take off my literal hat and think of it more as a workflow idea. That is, the teacher gives the assignment electronically (via email, Showbie, dropbox, google drive). The student completes their assignment, sending the finished project via the chosen method. The student is not burdened with a whole bunch of loose papers, and the teacher can choose an efficient, electronic way of receiving their submissions. Simple. Elegant. Still allows for the diversity of styles and preferences.

Sometimes I am slow on the uptake…

Check out the article about the benefits of doodling below!


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How To Integrate iPads With The New Google Classroom – Edudemic

Welcome back, teachers!  I thought I would kick off a new season of iPadYouPad with an article about Google Classroom and everything it can do for you.  Create your content on the iPad, whether it be an explainer video on Explain Everything, an annotated PDF out of Notability and even a video off of iMovie and then simply upload it to google drive and share with your students!

Here is a great article, which includes a nice visual of the workflow.  I know of one teacher already who takes advantage of the Google drive/Explain everything connection to share with her students but I would like to here from anybody else who uses it. How is it working for you? Any problems you would like to highlight? benefits?

With the recent announcement that Google Classroom will be available to all Google Apps for Education schools by the week of August 11th, schools that have also adopted iPads are interested in exploring the platform to determine if it will integrate into their existing deployment to provide a helpful and approachable workflow solution. While there …


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App Smashing: Combining Google Drive, iTunes U, And Apps In The Classroom – Edudemic

First of all, I learned a new phrase via the article below- app smashing (and no, it does not involve pounding your iPad with a meat tenderizer when it doesn’t work…) It also got me intrigued about iTunes U as a content delivery system. I would like to know if any teacher has looked in to this? Hey science teachers- I am talking to you!)

Here is a link to the iTunes U training page. I think this requires further investigation!

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Many schools that have adopted one-one tablet technology struggle with the pre-requisite skills associated with moving files from app to app. This process is now called App Smashing, and when you learn how to use it to your advantage, it really does make things nice and simple. Workflow is king and the easier it is …

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Wednesday Workshop: Moodle, Showbie and Conference notes

Just in case you missed another installation of our staff iPad Show and Tell, here is a list of links to the presentations and resources discussed!

1. MOODLE by David Pelletier

The first presentation was from David, who attended a tech conference and became enamoured with Moodle. Unbeknownst to him, he had already been using Moodle as a student – he is taking an online course on wine that uses it as a platform. It was the perfect opportunity to show us what the tool is capable of.

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2. Showbie by Nadia Schoonhoven

Nadia has been playing around with Showbie as a way to collect student assignments and give feedback. She is using the free version which means she does not have access to the built-in annotation function in the app. To get around this, she uses Showbie in conjunction with Notability to send her feedback to the students. As she mentions in her presentation, it is a great tool to help you go paperless!

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She even shared her presentation via Showbie so that I could have access to it:

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I also wroe a rAPPido review on Showbie which you can see here.

3.Conference notes by Melanie Leblanc

Last but not least, Melanie gave us a whirlwind tour of a dizzying amount of resources she learned about at her conference. Highlights include resources for making info graphics, and mind mapping tools.

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The presentation includes many excellent links so check it out!

Thank you so much to our presenters!


rAPPido Review: Showbie a Way to make a More Efficient Workflow

With the advent of the iPad and more and more homework assignments getting submitted electronically, many teachers find themselves with overstuffed inboxes and drowning in word docs and presentations.

However, where there is a need, there’s a market! More and more tools are appearing on the market everyday in order to help out. Thanks Nadia (Miss Science/Math teacher) for letting me know about Showbie. Like Nearpod, the subscription fee is a tad prohibitive ($10/month) but the free version still gives you lots of options.

Here is a video giving you a quick summary of how it works:

Here is what Nadia said about it:

I found this app yesterday and have been playing around with it since. I think it would be really useful for teachers tying to go paper free.
It can be used really easily with note taking apps too like goodnotes or notability. or even keynote or something else.
So I thought I would give it a try.
Signing up was easy:
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You add your name and password and then get started right away by adding a class.
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When you are adding your assignment, you can add a description and a due date:
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Then it is time to invite students!
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Here is how it looks like on your teacher dashboard:
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First they have to download the app and sign in as a student. They will asked to give a username and password, but won’t have to put in an email.
They enter the code for the class:
photo 3
Then find the work they want to submit and choose to open it in Showbie:
photo 1
They choose to add file to the assignment folder:
And voilà! Here it is in my teacher folder!
Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 10.31.03 AM
You can choose to add noters to the assignment folder:
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As well as many other things:
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Then I thought I would try annotating it in Notability, just to see if it would work with Showbie:
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Though it worked, I am not sure if you would be able to submit feedback like this to individual students. The way it looked in my folder was like a whole new document. Perhaps Nadia can tell us how she does it?
The paid version allows you to annotate the documents in Showbie, which I assume would sink with the student’s account so that they could see your marks.
And then, of course, you can add more classes:
Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 10.36.39 AM
Here is what the free version gives you:
Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 10.56.03 AM
Obviously, the paid version gives you way more- to check out the difference between paid and free, click here.

Why You Should Try Video Feedback With Students – Edudemic

An interesting article about providing feedback via video to your students. It’s sort of like an extension of the flipped classroom- the students receive all the same benefits from being able to pause and rewind the feedback as well as make the corrections the teacher is talking about right away and then move on.

My first thought is that Explain everything would be a good app to use for this- you can stick the PDF of the student’s document in the app and then write comments as well as record your voice over them. This would also be a great way to save paper- the students would submit their work electronically and the teacher would give feedback electronically.

What do you think?

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As Katie Lepi showed in her recent article, the use of video in education is fast emerging as an efficient, creative, and effective way to help students learn. Over the past year I have been experimenting with assessment methods and have found that using video is now the best way for me to assess the …

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