Saturday, January 29, 2011

C4T #1 Project #3

a cat shredding paper

Comment #1
I was assigned to, Mr. David Wees' blog, 21st Century Educator. You can find his blog
In his post, The (nearly) paperless classroom, he discussed different tools he uses to keep his students learning without the use of a lot of paper or a lot of technology. He suggested one of my favorite tools, a white board for students to use for "class work" as well as larger ones to write assignment and instructions.
He also suggested a few old computers placed in various spots around the room so that large groups of students can gather around when necessary because most of their work is collaborative. Digital cameras were also on his list. He uses them as a way of documenting students work, as the white boards are large enough to see when a snap shot is taken. He also has a back-of-the-room library as additional resources for his students. For the most part, using notebooks or journals for self reflection is where most of his paper use is. He states, "The (nearly) paperless classroom starts with the assumption that not every piece of work students produce is worth saving forever." While I agree with his comment, I am not totally sold on the idea of a ( nearly) paperless classroom.

This is my response:
"I have read your post regarding a (nearly) paperless classroom. You have some great ideas! My favorite being, the white boards. What kid does not love writing on those? Every child in my house has their own whiteboard in their bedrooms, hung on the wall. They use them for math work, writing, and other homework activities. I also have one in my home "classroom". They are great tools and so much better for the environment. I also love the, back-of-the-room library. I'm sure that is especially useful for a different source of information. I wonder what the age of e-books could do for students in the future? The cameras are a great addition as well, but could be expensive if the cameras get broken or, if your students are like my kids and their friends, all I get are silly faces. Overall I think it is a great concept, I just don't know if I am totally sold on the idea.

Now, with saying that I need to add the following disclaimer: I am merely a student. I am not a full time teacher, yet. So the following comments are strictly my opinion and are just some thoughts that pop in to my head. Now that we have that over with, back to my post.

While I like the whole idea and am a great fan of technology, I can't help but wonder, is it really possible to run a classroom effectively without the use of paper? I see you take pictures of the student's work and load it to a computer, but, what if the computer crashes and you lose some of the information, what then? As a teacher are you responsible for keeping some of your student's work for verification of some sort? if so, how do you do that? Are the journals or notebooks that you have good enough for that purpose? Just a few things to think about."

Comment #2

David Wees' response to my comment on his post, The (nearly) paperless classroom was awesome. He touched on a few of my main points that I brought up in my comment. He also explained that his post was to try and come up with a few ideas that would assist him in creating this "paperless" classroom with not a lot of technology. Last year he was able to only use about 20 sheets of paper for 4 of his classes. However, he did say that most of his students had access to a computer, which helped the process. He admits that, while it's not perfect, he believes he could do it and in fact, there are some teachers out there that are actually paperless classrooms.

My reply to David Wees.

"You know, I didn't even think about the computers and cameras being taken. That would definitely put a damper on things. I think your reply about having silly faces on the white boards was funny. You know back in the "olden" days as my kids say, we had chalk boards and I can remember drawing silly faces and such when we were given an opportunity to draw on the them. Here in Alabama, we are going through a funding crisis. Teachers are having to account for the paper they use, and most of the time, buy the paper themselves unless, there is a parent ( me) who will buy them a case of paper to help them out. So, in that aspect going paperless could help ease the financial strain that teachers tend to have to endure. I like your ideas and while it's not perfect, I can appreciate your willingness to create a learning environment that is interesting and fun for your students."

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