Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Almost Paperless Homework

My colleague next door and I are trying paperless homework this week.  My colleague is going completely paperless while I have a bit of paper (two charts) involved.  I was inspired, in part, to do this by the Khan video where he suggests that homework should be the "learning by watching," while the classroom should be the hands-on, activity-based learning since teachers and peers can assist and facilitate.

My students' homework included the following:
  1. Watch at least one classmate's podcast and write a quality comment (compliment and connection) about it on that student's podcast comment thread each school night.
  2. Visit our online Fraction Action learning site.  Watch fraction videos, play games, and/or take tests online to explore and learn about fractions.
  3. Independent Reading.
Our school system's learning management system, It's Learning, gives me the chance to quickly check in to see who has signed in.  Last night 21/24 of the class signed on, and several posted comments.  Several also emailed me via our closed social network (NING) to ask questions and note log-on issues and other problems.  We spent some time in class today reviewing the problems and trouble shooting to help more students access the homework and assignments with ease.  I'm sure I'll get a few more emails tonight as students learn to navigate this new system.  My colleague was able to check in online to check his students' homework completion too.  

It's great to try this out with a colleague as we're able to share our thoughts, ideas, successes and challenges.  I'm going to continue to gauge the success of this venue as the year moves on.  Let me know if you have any thoughts or ideas regarding paperless homework and online work.  In the meantime, I'll continue to consult my "clients (students)" and assess the learning to choose the best venues for student success.


  1. I think you are ahead of the crowd! I am glad to be "drafting" your lead!

  2. Yes, and I already "drafted' your lead on another matter this week. We can't do it alone.

  3. Maureen great thoughts here! I have thought about how to make this work with many students in my room. I have a bout 10-15% that don't have access to the Internet, and there is a need for that percentage to see the videos.

    I also like these videos for parent's self-confidence level when helping out their child in more rigorous mathematics instruction.

  4. VV - On last year's move-up letter, I requested that all children have a computer at home if possible. It seemed to work as all of my students have fairly good access this year. Last year I had a few who didn't have access, but I made some time during the school day for those students to access the information. Let me know how your work goes with "paperless homework" - a phrase my colleague shared with me. We all learn from one another in education.