Earlier today I was reading a list of ways to be ‘green’ in the classroom. One of these mentioned using email to send students worksheets or information, rather than print outs. While considering this, I decided to see if this could go a step further. It turns out, it can!
Students can use a program such as Onenote or Evernote to create a practically paperless environment. These are great tools which create notebooks that students can embed their notes images, webpages and tables in, as well as many other items. Students can take photos of work completed on dry erase boards and embed them into their notebook, or add images drawn in paint or directly into the program to illustrate mathematics concepts or formulas.
Students could also create ‘research journals’ and attach their notes, research and completed work into the notebook, while attaching links to the research for future access.
I can think of literally dozens more ideas for this tool and tools like it, and it’s an idea I’m very excited to integrate into my own classroom in the future. While classrooms may not become completely paperless, using this approach is sure to cut down on excessive paper while allow students to create more dynamic records of their work, research and ideas.