Over the last two years i have tried to reduce the amount of paper that I deal with on a daily basis. This in part is due to organisation but more importantly to encourage learners to work better away from school.
I have looked at several different methods to achieve this, from Evernote to Dropbox, finally resulting in using Edmodo and Google Drive.
Google Drive gave me a platform for tracking progress and providing feedback to students in a digital way, so that work could be accessed anywhere, I have blogged on this before (link). What Google Drive also offers is a variety of ways to interact with students. You can comment on their work, directly annotating on the work and also add voice comments which opens a whole new world of options when working with students with different needs.
Though Google Drive gave a wealth of improvements to the course, it still was a bit messy and i needed something to combine it all in to one place, somewhere where all students could access their work, communicate with me and find extra resources.
Enter Edmodo. This has a whole range of options to really build a platform for interacting with students. For the paperless classroom it really gives a central place to file all of the evidence created. The real beauty of Edmodo is that it links in really simply with everything i had done in Google drive. In the library section of Edmodo there is an option to link your Google Docs, this gives access to everything in Google Drive and with a simple click it can be shared with your class.
Now students are encouraged to use Google docs to create work, it leads to better collaboration and i can give ongoing feedback to inform progression. From a staff point of view, all of the tracking and feedback sheets can be shared internally through Edmodo, all of the coursework is stored in one place, I can simply track who has or hasn’t submitted work.
Now There is no real need for paper. Students can create their work in whatever way they want, Videos uploaded via a link, Documents via Google Drive, Podcasts even their own apps via iBuildapp. I can mark their work, give brief ongoing feedback on the work on Google Drive and in the comments section on Edmodo. Detailed feedback (which BTEC require) on Google Drive. I can then also track ongoing progress, modular and overall. Not only is the course now paperless it also encourages independent learning and students to work in a productive manner when away from school