Sunday, June 2, 2013

Going Paperless - Help!

This year, we heard lots about how many copies we were making, paper we were using, etc. I am blessed to not be limited on any of these aspects, but they are hinting that this might not be the case for next year. I don't like the papers just as much as the next teacher, and fighting and praying to the copier gods that it wouldn't jam on me for the billionth time is very frustrating. The things that cause me the most paper are by far TESTS! In the past, we have used Edusoft grading system with scantrons to automatically grade our tests for us, but we have been told this will be cut next year. We have been so upset about this because it saves me HOURS of grading!

So let me break the numbers down for you...

A test is usually two to four copies (front and back) and scantron. They get their test back with a report on it as well so for a total of four to six pages per student, 115 students, that is anywhere from 460 to 690 copies per test!! Let's not forget the two to four page study guide as well, so that's another 230 to 460 copies. For a grand total of anywhere from 690 to 1,050 copies per test!!!I know that's a lot of copies, and when we design the test we make it take up as little room as possible by shrinking diagrams and columns. But what can I do to help limit this? We do copy tests front to back so this cuts the paper in half, but as a school we are charged by the copy and then by the paper separately.

The first thing that comes to mind is a class set. So now I would only need 30 copies of the test, and if you are keeping up that is 60 to 120 copies for the test, but I would still need the scantron and study guides. This is what a lot of my other team teachers use. My concerns with this is that in math, you need to be able to highlight, cross out, show your work, etc. to questions to solve sometimes. (And in a perfect world, my students would do this 100% of the time!) But I do have several students that don't even write so much as their name on the test, or show any work! (that's a whole other topic in itself) We also do test corrections, so how do I get them a copy of the test so they can do these for questions they missed? I am not comfortable with posting a test to my class website.

With Edusoft, some teachers have them take the actual test on the computer. My same concerns apply to this as well as we take our MAP assessments on the computer as well and some students don't focus. Plus I think this opens up questions about cheating through the internet as well. And this is a luxury we don't have for next year, gotta love budget cuts.

This is only accounting for tests and study guides, no graphic organizers, EXIT slips, quizzes, assignments, etc. We also did a "default activities packet during part of the year that was 9 pages of critical thinking, puzzles, math related activities that students could work on when done with an assignment and  could earn a prize at the end of the quarter if they did them all. WHEW!

So with all of the other technology we have available, there has to be something that would help?! Right?!

1 comment:

Ruby said...

The paperless trend is something most helpful to teachers, among other occupations. With proper training and orientation to both the teachers and the students, I’m sure it wouldn’t be long ‘til this feels inherent to the education system. Ruby@Williams Data Management

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