- You can't seem to find the curriculum document you know you've printed 1,000 times, so you print it again because that will be faster than finding it.
- You've broken more than 1 plastic rolling cart because of the number of papers, books, and materials you've hauled back and forth from school.
- You hate grading papers because it takes you 5x longer to handwrite comments than it would take you to type them, plus you start to feel like a broken record after a while.
- You panic every time you need to pull student work for RTI or parent-teacher conferences because it's in so many different places.
- You've had to scrap a lesson plan because the copy machine was out of paper and there was no hope of getting the materials together before needing to do the lesson.
Whether you want to go a little more digital, and therefore use "less paper," or you want to go all the way toward having a virtually paperless classroom, then this series will hopefully have something for you.
I'm a fourth grade teacher in an International Baccalaureate school in suburban Atlanta. I've always loved teaching with technology, and my school is moving toward having 1:1 iPads in 4th and 5th grades. I've been really excited about using the iPads (I was part of the pilot for the district), but I know that I haven't been using them to their fullest potential. Take, for example, exhibit 1: my dining room table as I prepared to do report cards.
Or exhibit 2: my desk in my classroom.
Or exhibit 3: the pile of papers behind my desk...
I'm not proud. In fact, I hate it. I see it and just feel like I'm a complete mess. I'm a person who really likes to be organized, so it's especially troublesome for me that I can't get these things under control.
Meanwhile, as one of the technology experts at my school, I'm preparing for to teach a class about some of our apps at a staff development day next week. The focus of my presentation will be two specific apps -- GoodReader and Evernote -- and the more I learn about these apps, the more I'm realizing their potential. Hence, my decision to go paperless. I don't think I'll be able to get rid of all paper use in my classroom (nor would I necessarily want to), but I'm planning a massive cutback, and I think I finally have the tools to get me started.
Later today, I'll be posting a "getting started" tutorial with your first challenge in the Paperless Mission describing all of the tools you'll need to begin this process. You don't need to be teaching in a 1:1 setting to implement all of the strategies that I'm going to suggest--there will be options to make things work for you. In the meantime, what's your story? Share the reasons you want to "Go Paperless" in a blog post, and link up below. When you do, please include the Paperless Challenge image (below) and link back to this post. And let's use the rule of 3 -- reply to the two people who post before you and one person who posts after you to encourage each other in this paperless endeavor!
And be sure to check out
Mission #1: Gather Your Tools
Mission #2: Build Evernote Notebooks
Mission #3: Email Notes to Evernote
Mission #4: Create Checklists in Evernote
Mission #5: Organize Your Files in Dropbox
Mission #6: Setting Up GoodReader (iPad)
I look forward to hearing your stories and joining you on this paperless challenge!