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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Paperless

My class at RAMS has been paperless for 3 years now.
I felt strongly early on that when we have the ability to use computers to research, create, organize and share our work the environmental impact of using materials such as paper, plastic markers and pens should be taken into account.   Some people are worried about the digital age making our students lazy.....my question is...what is the difference between sitting with a book and notebook and sitting with a computer?  Nothing except the impact on the environment.  Both situations can be seen as a potential "lazy" learning environment. It is not about digital vs paper...computers don't make lazy kids....teachers, parents and the community make lazy kids.  As an educator of middle level learners I take into account how important it is for this age group
to get up
and
move around
to explore and create
and interact with their peers...
they are social beings!

The one to one Chrome book roll out has been an excellent opportunity to teach students the importance of ownership and pride in their work as well as organization and responsibility, but it has not changed their need to get up and PLAY...here the students are designing their "safety pods" for the egg catapult project.  They have created their presentations shared them with me and now they are "experimenting" with the materials listed in the criteria.  Up and down and back and forth from Chrome book on table to floor covered with straws...
engaged
focused
and most importantly
having fun!


It is our job to create opportunities for our children to have a balance in their life between "online and real world" interaction.  A community with a strong commitment to the arts, outdoor education, sports and recreation doesn't have to worry about "lazy" kids....give them the choice to interact, socialize and play while learning and they will choose that every time.