You’ve probably heard the term paperless classroom multiple times now. So what exactly is a paperless classroom? A paperless classroom is a system of digital tools when used in combination reduces the amount of paper used. If successful this integration of technology in your classroom will help eliminate the purpose of paper as well as manage an effective workflow. Students will be able to access their study materials, homework and grades through the internet! Beyond environmental savings, here are 5 major advantages of transitioning to a paperless classroom!
1. Improved Learning Environment
Implementing digital tools in your classroom can offer an improved learning environment for your students namely by providing you with a better understanding of your students’ knowledge gaps. There are many tools on the market today that can help teachers evaluate student knowledge with in-depth metrics or data reports! These tools can provide you with the information you need to help discover student problems before they fossilize.
For example, Colango offers you the ability to quickly create a listening or speaking assignments to help guide your instruction! Perhaps you notice your students are having problems with a certain sound or phoneme set, you can quickly create a tongue twister exercise to help them practice! Here’s a great post with some tongue twister examples.
Digital tools offer a way to give fun activities or assignments. Drill and kill is the old way, digital tools empower you to create engaging exercises that can focus on specific language skills you want your students to improve on.
2. Collaborative learning
Collaborative learning is centered on communication and students learning together. Collaborative learning is even more powerful now that it can include in-class and out-of-class activities due to mobile devices. In addition, it’s now even easier to collaborate with other classes around the world. Using tools like Skype in the Classroom or Google hangouts can be great ways to establish a language exchange with other classrooms!
3. Better organization & Increased productivity
A paperless classroom can help you become more organized! There are many tools that allow you to easily distribute assignments, resources and instructions to your students with a push of a button. When your students submit homework everything is stored in one place. No more carrying around loads of files or taking home stacks of papers to grade. Best of all your students no longer have to carry around bulky backpacks filled with binders or textbooks! All their assignments are easily accessible on their computer or mobile device.
With better organization comes increased productivity! It’s always nice to be able to maximize classroom minutes and create a better workflow. A good workflow where assignments can be distributed, completed, graded and returned can allow you to take back priceless minutes in the classroom. Now you can focus on what you do best- teaching!
4. Access to a variety of content
The internet is a great resource for finding content to base your lessons off of. Language teaching with authentic content is a great way to engage your advanced students. There’s so much great content on the internet such as Youtube videos, articles, tv shows and even music. Being able to use this content and build assignments off of them can be a great way to engage your students. Here’s some ideas how you can use Colango and authentic content.
Many digital tools also facilitate the creation of unique content for your class. This way you can create unique class assignments that perfectly fits your own class structure and curriculum. You don’t have to be reliant only on assignments from textbooks. For example, with Colango you can quickly make speaking assignments on a variety of topics for your students. Save these assignments and reuse them in the future for other classes!
5. Develop student technology skills
By implementing paperless in your class you also help your students develop technology skills early on. Skills such as technological know-how and peer collaboration are crucial in the modern world. With enough classes switching to a paperless system the need for computer classes could be obsolete in the future.
While we’ve mentioned some great advantages of transitioning to a paperless classroom we also acknowledge it can be difficult depending on your class’s individual resources. Resources such as technology, Internet bandwidth speed and lack of finances can all be major constraints to achieving a paperless classroom. In the end, it’s important to look at all your needs to best decide if a paperless classroom is for you. If you do decide to go this route, stay tuned for our next post on 5 tips on preparing for a paperless classroom.