In all honesty, my personal and teaching style have been branded as “analogue” by my dear husband, but there is something to be said about the digital classroom. My biggest deterrent from paperless classrooms is the risk involved. I could plan for hours the best PowerPoint, but if there is some technical hiccough, it would all be for naught.
But, aside from this, there are myriad advantages to making assignment digital for both students and teachers. A lot of websites have been developed to help teachers and students navigate through the jumbled mess of assignments for a class.
Some sites allow storage of work online in clouds. Google allows students to collaborate and share work and keeps track of who is doing what work and when.
No printer? No problem. Teachers can allow submitting of work digitally with Turn It In, utilizing Google.doc scripts such as Docopus and ClassFolder to submit and organize work, or students can e-mail work.
Want students to interact more but not enough classroom time? Students can work together to create material in Wiki, blogs, or another social networking sites (SNS) like Facebook and Twitter. There are also alternatives designed for classrooms such as Edomodo and Schoology which students can find familiar and accessible.
Presentations are also no longer limited to PowerPoint. With programs like Prezi, VoiceThread (great for ESLs), Glogster, HaikuDeck, and SlideBead, teachers and students alike can present lessons or assignments in new ways. Many of these websites also work on mobile devices in addition to computers.
All in all, technology helps teachers deliver lessons to students in ways that allows better access to information and interaction with the class outside of physical limitations of time and space in addition to helping keep the class and assignments organized.
Are there any websites you use for your classroom?