It’s been a busy two weeks without much time to blog here, but a link to this article from NCTE’s Inbox caught my eye. This fall, I have been pushing friends and colleagues to go paperless with free and open source applications, like Google Docs, and even though this isn’t quite the same, seeing that fifth graders can do it makes me wonder if everyone will be going this route soon.
When she assigns students a report on Civil War heroes, the students take off on their own using Web sites like Google and Dogpile to do research, cutting and pasting photographs into documents and saving their work on floppy disks.”Instead of writing with a paper and pencil and your hand getting tired, we can do it on a computer,” said Robert Toledo, 10, as he reads a site about Abraham Lincoln. “It’s faster and better.”
In Miami-Dade County’s only paperless classroom, Web sites are used in lieu of textbooks, Power Point Presentations substitute for written essays and students get homework help from their teacher over e-mail.
What would it take to get every classroom in the country to this level, both in terms of hardware and professional development for teachers? More thoughts on how and why to do that coming soon…