Can apps help to create a paperless classroom. Classrooms, places where the future of kids is shaped, are ironically un-futuristic. Papers are passe. They’re limiting and aren’t fun. It’s time we pave the way for paperless classrooms – tech and education together can only lead to a better world.
Evernote has become the de facto application for note-taking. Forget papers: You can put your lesson notes and ideas on Evernote, tag and search them from the web or your desktop.
The free account has monthly upload caps, but the premium version allows you to upload anything, up to 500MB and gives you offline access. Costs $45, but well worth the money.
Also, see how teachers are using Evernote in their classroom. If you like Evernote, you should also check out LiveBinders – it’s another great place to put your resources together for the class.
2. Google Docs
Google Docs could be a huge paper-killer. With Google Docs, you can eliminate the need for students to carry around essays in papers.
Your students can instantly fire up docs.google.com, and start writing. The best part: you can collaborate on documents and live commentary and ideas. You can even add drawings.
Buzzword is a cooler alternative. But that’s not all- there are plenty of tools available in this space. Any of these will definitely fit your needs.
3. Zoho Challenge
Zoho Challenge’s Quiz Maker can be used to create and deliver quick quizzes and serious tests. If you feed the questions, and assign candidates, all of your students can immediately take tests online.
The free account will let you create public tests only, but for as low as $3, you can restrict your tests to students with specific email addresses. All your quizzes are self graded.
There are other tools like Survey Monkey that will let you create surveys in a breeze. It’s high time you dropped pen and paper for collecting feedback from students. Other alternatives include: Google Forms, Articulate’s Quiz Maker and Quia.
Place all that you want to show on a big canvas on Prezi.com and add paths connecting these elements. Zoom in and start navigating from one point to another.
We’re all used to creating linear presentations in Powerpoint. Slide after slide. Or presenting paper charts with hurriedly drawn sketches. Yawn. Try Prezi today – I bet you’ll be blown away.
There’s always a free account to try, but if you need more storage space or private storage options, you’ll have to shell out some money.
Wordle will analyse any text you throw at it and present a word cloud listing the prominent words. You can always choose the style and layout and also weed out unimportant words. If you want to introduce a new learning concept, this is the right way to start. Wordle can also be used to generate cover notes for student notebooks. If you’ve got your lesson notes on Google Docs, paste your notes on Wordle and you’ll get an instant visual word cloud generated. Visual learning is the way forward, isn’t it?
This list is by no means comprehensive. If you’re a teacher, why not drop a comment about the applications you’re using to create a paperless classroom?
Guest author Shankar Ganesh is a blogger from India. He’s an intern for Zoho Corp, makers of Zoho Challenge, at the time of writing. You can also guestblog here and share your favorite web apps.
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