Using Technology

The Challenge of Going "Paperless" with Google Drive.....

I consider myself to be an avid-tech user, but I'm always trying to push myself and challenge myself to do more!  Our school is 1:1 Chromebooks 5th-8th grade, with 7th-8th being able to take their devices home with them.  

Over the past year, I've really tried to challenge myself with lesson design and ask myself "how can I do this in an interactive way" and "how can I make this paperless".  When you have done things one way for such a long time, and had pretty moderate success, it's difficult to "re-think" it in a way that uses a completely different platform and still incorporating the skills and learning you want your students to get out of it.

I think my biggest revelation came this year and the use of my interactive notebooks.  I don't know about you, but I LOVE interactive notebooks and all that they offer!  I think the learning that occurs with constructing visuals, note-taking, reflecting, etc. within interactive notebooks is vital and meaningful.  The downside is making the copies for 200+ students, glue sticks, notebooks, lost notebooks, time to cut and paste, etc.  Now that I have 1:1 devices, the choice seemed obvious, make my interactive notebooks DIGITAL........But how.......

The first place I started was TpT to see what was out there in terms of resources for Google Drive in the middle school classroom.  Unfortunately, my search did not yield many results.  I think this is such a "new" area, that many teachers are just now starting to wrap their heads around the concept of a digital classroom, and the resources have yet to be developed.  I was SUPER excited to stumble across a resource that was EXACTLY what I was looking for.  Danielle Knight from Study All Knight has a WONDERFUL product that takes you through the basics of Google Drive, "digitizing" everything, and how to sell your Google Drive products!  Click HERE to check it out!

I am now ON A MISSION!  My goal is to go COMPLETELY paperless in my 2nd semester which starts at the end of January.  That is going to give me some time to start converting everything into Google Drive to be used in Google Classroom AND a website that I've created for students to create/post to that will serve as an ePortfolio for them in both 7th and 8th grades.  Click HERE to see the Google Sites template for my ePortfolios.

I created my first Google-Driven activity this week!  It is an alternative to the typical New Year's activities of writing resolutions...Instead, students will take a look at the important news stories from the year!  This is a freebie in my store, click below to check it out and download it!

What are some ways in which you have "digitized" your class?  I'd love to hear some ideas!

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