#Paper?: Going “copyless” in the classroom

Trying to keep your classrooms and book bag free of paper? Maybe have all work be distributed and submitted digitally


To maintain a sustainable planet, I am keeping my classrooms free of paper. My goal was to have all paper-based work distributed digitally and submitted digitally. The added benefit to this was that I would be able to provide feedback to my students more easily and quickly.

To start, I had my workflow set up from day one for each of my classes. Each Schoology page was prepared so that the very first handout, the first assignment and the first worksheets were ready to be viewed and submitted on the first day. I also prepared, borrowed and edited various instructions for how the students should manage my copy-free classroom. See screenshots below.

So, how has it gone after one quarter? A great success! In the first week, I did make some copies for students in case they didn’t have their computers with them for whatever reason, but it ended up that I did not have to use them – saving them for scrap paper. Since September, I have only printed out forty sheets of paper for student use for a lab where they needed to record data around chemicals that would not have been good for their laptops if spilled. It also took a week or two to get every student submitting their work properly, i.e. uploaded to Schoology and not simply shared with me or uploaded as an unreadable link.

The main obstacle that remains for my upper school students is the use of Kami on their (mostly) Apple MacBooks. The easiest way to make drawings and fill in charts of data on a pdf would be with a stylus which is not an option here. They manage, but it is difficult.

I am quite pleased and hope to remain “copyless” for years to come.

For more information contact: Alan Pike

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