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Paperless

I have a confession to make: I, a music teacher who dislikes many of the modern styles of music, who prefers Bach to the Backstreet Boys, and who encourages politeness as old-school as they come, want to eventually have a paperless classroom (band room).

This all started for me with the iPad. When it came out, initially, I said that I probably wouldn’t be getting one, because at the time, all of its functions were pretty much duplicated (and more effectively) by my laptop. Then, however, they started working the bugs out of the initial system, and colleagues of mine began to figure out cool new uses for it. Now, I can take an iPad2, scan all my music in as PDF/image files, and turn pages with the flick of a finger, saving TONS of effort and wear and tear on my part.

Then, of course, there is the advent of blogging/website hosting/Twitter/podcasting, etc. I have a couple of friends who are pursuing the usage of this amazing technologies with students in the classroom, and I’ve got to think that it can make huge differences in student learning. For example, if a student comes to some sort of astonishing epiphany or realizes that ONE question they forgot to ask, they can now simply use the Internet to interact with the teacher directly. Also, students have the opportunity to self-teach and share discoveries with each other like never before thanks to those assets.

Ultimately, the kind of classroom I envision having is very different from the one I have right now. True, iPads/tablets are going to be an expensive proposition, but I’d want one for all kids, plus a complete integrated audio/visual system with one or multiple SMARTboard-type applications, and a complete high-speed wireless Internet connection so that we can solve problems, find resources, and explore issues in real time.

In short, I guess the thing is that I’d love to have a class where technology helps me move away from teaching information and instead teaching how to learn and grow.

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2 Comments

  1. Of course, such a shift the classroom means compiling custom libraries that the students can access with their school logins (like the U of A online databases) and a very sophisticated firewall. However, with this system it would be easier to implement a more reward oriented system of working, involving more research projects with presentations and rewards being they don’t have to do the normal weekly assignment (which should be made mind-numbingly boring to get them to all try to make a good project so they don’t have to so the boring stuff; this would also mean more interesting marking for you, and you would get to learn too). So as an engineer, it think this is a great idea.

  2. This is also a goal of mine. Good luck and do share your journey as it unfolds.

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