Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's Green, it's Keen, it's a Teaching Dream! - Paperless Teaching

This micro-review is mostly for teachers, but you might be interested, too. Or, you might be a teacher.

"Teaching Without Paper"
Dynamite Lesson Plan (March 18, 2009)

"In January of 2008 I was asked by Lorelle van Fossen to write a post for Edublogs Magazine. I had a short humorous post about a broken copy machine and my frustration. I added a few touches here and there and had my guest post for the online mag. Well, since then I have really learned to teach without paper. I've modified curriculum and innovated strategies that utilize A/V and interactive tools (like white boards) to achieve more than paper ever did. EDI is a great method to use in a paperless lesson. Do I need to add it's a 'green' direction? That seems to be everybody's concern these days. If interested, the source of EDI and more information is at Data Works.

"To give you an idea what a day without paper looks like, here's an example of a day I've taught:..."

As a recovering English teacher, reading this post was a sort of flashback experience. The first impression I had was that there was no way I'd want to teach, using the example as a lesson plan.

I was wrong, in a way. The list I jumped into isn't a lesson plan, despite having some of the elements. It's a very abbreviated example of a day spent teaching: without paper.

As the author wrote, "I hope that gave you some ideas. Now it's your turn."

My wife and I home school our kids (their idea) from seventh grade on, so we've been doing this 'teaching without paper' thing for years. No big deal: We don't have the budget for the sort of paperwork that's popular at schools. So, instead, we concentrate on teaching.

Okay: back to this post.

You'll see the word "green" there. Unless you're someone who can't do anything sensible without calling it "green:" skip over that. Sure, you'll put less of a strain on you landfill, and the school's budget.

Selling a plan like this to the school administration might be the hardest part of the transition. Particularly if "we've never done it that way before." Some of the initial investment in equipment might be pricey.

What impressed me most about "Teaching Without Paper" is that it's written by a teacher who's actually used the techniques in the field. Back when I was part of the educational establishment, I warmed a few chairs in 'workshops,' listening to experts praise their pet ideas - which they'd obviously never tried to apply to living, breathing, students.

I do not think that "Teaching Without Paper" is a panacea that will solve all your teaching woes, end world hunger, and bring peace, love, and understanding throughout the world.

I do think that it's an idea that's worth considering.


Damien Riley said...

Brian, I love your review. Thank you so much. I think my frustration with paper stems mostly from the long line at the copy machine. Obviously kids need some paper to write and get better at it. I don't,however, feel we need so many handouts. I'm excited about where this journey will take my students.

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...

Damien Riley,

My pleasure. And, agreed: information technology and what may be a re-thinking of classroom culture is exciting.

Best wishes.

Unique, innovative candles

Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle online store

Pinterest: From the Man Behind the Lemming

Top 10 Most-Viewed Posts

Today's News! Some of it, anyway

Actually, some of yesterday's news may be here. Or maybe last week's.
The software and science stuff might still be interesting, though. Or not.
The Lemming thinks it's interesting: Your experience may vary.
("Following" list moved here, after Blogger changed formats)

Who Follows the Lemming?


Family Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory