Why Print When You Can Share?
The emerging sharing economy is all about the optimization of resources. A teaching team at Hopkins School is climbing onboard the efficiency train by sharing digital copies of common assignments and formative assessments while practicing thoughtful printing. And it’s so far, so good! Grade 5 teachers, Mrs. Sullivan and Mrs. Fumarola, project they will save approximately thirty-three reams of paper this year by taking their vocabulary program, reading logs, and math formative assessments online. That number is expected to gain momentum as they convert additional paper-based endeavors to the digital platform. Just how are they going about it?
With the laying down of a new 2:1 Chromebook infrastructure, the teaching duo started the year rolling with Google Classroom. Think of Classroom as Grand Central Station. It is a streamlined learning management system (LMS) that simplifies the logistics of sharing assignments and communicating with students. Classroom is a hub for holding class discussions, creating assignments, and posting announcements. It also works in conjunction with Google Drive to organize assignments into folders for both teachers and students. For its part, Google Drive is the engine for a less-papered classroom. Drive not only houses files, but also allows for file sharing between students and teachers. Additionally, it serves as a launchpad for collaborative Google Apps like Docs, Sheets, Forms, and Presentation, as well as a myriad of other Web-based creation and productivity tools.
For the paper reduction challenge, Mrs. Fumarola and Mrs. Sullivan went above and beyond substituting Google Docs for paper-based writing assignments. They opted for the online version of the Wordly Wise vocabulary program and enrolled students in Reading Rewards to convert their paper-based reading logs to an online collection. They are also using various form tools, including Socrative, Google Forms, and GoFormative, to conduct formative assessments that help them steer students along their individual learning paths.
For the next stop, the pair plans to implement digital reading response notebooks, and that will probably not signify the end of the line. While these two classrooms alone are on track to potentially save $300 in printing expenses, other teachers are chugging along as well. Just imagine what could happen as the sharing economy gathers steam at Hopkins. The new 2:1 technology initiative could wind up being a budget-busting excursion worthy of a blow of the whistle. Toot! Toot!
By: Stephanie Doty Technology Integration Coordinator Hopkins School @HopkinsTechLib / @BlendedTeaching