Actually, I have been forced to pursue this option more this year than ever before. My classroom location has changed so I am no longer near the copy machine, and this new classroom is nicely tucked in a corner where my “active” students cannot be left unattended. On top of the fact, that as a school we have discouraged from continuing our massive paper usage and told to become more creative in using all of our resources. So, by adapting to my circumstances, I have fallen into this paperless world. My only concern is the face-to-face contact in the class as I balance the use of technology by becoming more of a facilitating and technological assistant helping others. We face the computer as much as we face each other.
As for changing learning, I really think the paperless idea has a way to enrich learning. Students must be more deliberate and strategic with paperless assignments. Students also become more responsible for their own learning. All types of learners can benefit if accommodations are considered ahead of time and specific directions and guidelines are easy to follow.
In the past two months, I have modified my classroom to become more paperless while learning the principles of EdModo and its use during a novel study. I find time is the issue for a teacher as always trying to respond effective and efficiently to the learners. I also think the students are more pressured to create an assignment that will not only be seen by the teacher, but by several classmates. Some students struggle with the technology to start out, but once a routine is established, students are eager to continue the paperless learning and communicate through alternate means.
As for building a learning network, it is easier than some teachers think because students’ responses are focused and clearer than assignment completed on paper or with discussion alone. All students are accountable and the results are easy to see on the screen to be referred to at anytime for use in grading, comprehension, parent questions, or academic concerns in general. Managing the learning network is trial and error at first, but the benefits are worth it in the long run. My students are learning how to become responsible cyber citizens while responding to literature and their peers in a fun interactive way. It is a win – win for me and my students!