Tag Archives: paperless

5 Reasons Why Teachers Should Blog

20 Apr

A lot of people are hesitant to start a blog because more often than not they believe they have nothing to say. However they often overlook the many benefits that they could get from blogging. Teachers and educators especially have so much to gain from blogging and we firmly believe that all should!

Here are a few of those reasons:

Blogging Helps You Reflect

Teachers often think back on what happened in their classroom and wonder what they could have done better. Blogging can help with that process by enabling teachers to log their actions, procedures, successes and failures, and issues they may have run into.

Reflection and self-evaluation are key components in personal and professional growth.

Blogging Connects You

Blogging provides the opportunity to connect with people from all corners of the world. Allowing you the opportunity to share and exchange ideas with people from all different perspectives. This also that helps us build a global classroom.

 Blogging Allows You To Share your Expertise

Blogging is also a great place to share you own knowledge and expertise with the world. Regardless of what you have to say in your blog posts someone somewhere will learn from it. Everyone learns and grows from different experiences; a blog is a place where you can share that knowledge.

Blogging Motivates You

Blogging provides opportunities for like-minded people to gather together and share their passions. Creating the perfect environment to draw inspiration and motivation from.

Blogging Is A Way To Find Support

Everyone at one point or another in their life could benefit from a little support. Through blogging you can develop a network of other people in your same shoes will most likely be able to answer any question or address any concern that you have. Even in the unlikely scenario where they couldn’t you will at least have a sympathetic ear.

If these reasons aren’t enough to get you excited about blogging Robert Shuetz has a Top 10 list and here are 50 examples of great Teacher blogs.

Keeping Students Engaged

5 Apr

With so many technologies being used nowadays, and students learning to use them at such a young age, the attention span of students seems to be decreasing with every year that passes. Because of this it makes it very difficult for teachers to keep the students engaged as well as get the students to participate. A recent pew research study says that 75% of students have cell phones and 73% of students use social networking sites. This are huge numbers compared to what they were when even I was a kid, where no one knew what a social networking site was and I shared a cell phone with my 2 brothers.

In an era where so many technologies are at our fingertips, why not use them to our advantage? Let’s talk about some ways we can do that:
 

Youtube is a great source for teaching. Not many young students out there want to hear Ben Stein drone on and on, they want to be entertained. Youtube is a great way to entertain, videos and clips can explain things much better than just a lecture (if a picture is worth 1,000 words, what is a video worth?). With so many videos on Youtube, you are bound to find something that pertains to what you are teaching.

Gaming is another very useful tool for students, and I am not talking about Madden or Grand Theft Auto (even though Madden taught me how to count by 7’s). There are many sites out there like funbrain and knowledgeadventure that are catered directly towards making games to help young kids learn. This is made easier by schools having access to more and more computers, especially if you have a school like mine where they replaced the DARE program with more laptops. You can use these games to hold weekly competitions in class and have rewards for the winner/kids who learn the most.

Multi-media assignments are a very reachable goal for younger students now. I didn’t have to do my first power-point presentation until late into my high school career. Students today are so tech savvy that they would much more enjoy making a video or doing a presentation instead of writing an essay. If I could have made a short film for every book report instead of writing a 3-page report, my entertainment level and grades would have been so much higher throughout my schooling. There are also many websites out there that give not only great ideas for multi-media assignments, but are also very good for finding research.

These are just three of many ideas that teachers have had to embrace technology and keep their students engaged. There are also simple tricks that have nothing to do with technology, like changing up your teaching style, and asking your students more questions. Whatever you can do to keep students entertained will make their learning experience and your teaching experience much more enjoyable.

What are some ideas that you have found work for keeping students engaged?

Benefits of Paperless Education

2 Mar

One of the main concerns that face schools nowadays is financing. Another concern that people have is how to stay green. If schools change to paperless education and paperless classrooms, both of those issues could be resolved. This  is how…

Financial Positives

Jake Tschida

Teachers are constantly using, and potentially wasting, thousands of sheets of paper a week. If a teacher has to pay for all of this paper, and also the prices of copying, they can see each pay check go straight down the drain. The average student every year uses 360  pounds of paper. Each pound of paper is approximately 100 sheets. This means that, with simple math, each student uses 36,000 sheets of paper a year. Now, if you use more math (of the complicated variety), you can see that a ream of paper goes for about $8/500 sheets (with tax). 36,000/500 = 72 reams x $8 = $576/student per year. Take the size of my graduation class, 861, my school spent $495,936 on just paper.

A teacher in Kentucky has found the answer to all of this spending, she created the paperless classroom. In this classroom the students are all given pda’s (personal digital assistants). The students then use these pda’s to do their homework, take their tests, and download all of their study materials. Education world interviewed Stephanie Sorell to find out more about the benefits of going paperless. So, the real question is, what is holding schools back from trying more paperless education classrooms?

Environmental Impact

Chad Willson

Just one classroom going paperless can have a huge impact on the environment. Using the math from above the average classroom of 30 uses 1,080,000 sheets of paper every year, one tree produces only 8,500 sheets of paper, so it takes 128 trees to produce enough paper for one classroom. Just one class has the power to save 128 trees by making the decision to go paperless.

Also according to Paperless Productivity turning one tree into paper releases 110 lbs of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, additionally trees convert over 2,000 lbs of carbon dioxide in their lifetime. Going paperless would have a huge and positive impact on carbon dioxide emissions.

Some may think it is too hard, or too much work, or costs too much to turn a classroom into a paperless education portal; but every year more and more schools have found a way to begin the transition. District 97 in Illinois has over 8 elementary schools on track to be paperless. For more in depth info on what steps need to be taken and what the future has in store check out David Wees’s and Kelley Tenkley’s blogs.

Also check out this video of an agriculture teacher in De Soto, Wisconsin that has successfully gone totally paperless.

Is Getting an Online Degree Worth it?

26 Jan

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We hear about them all of the time on the radio, television commercials, and ads plastered all over the internet: Online Higher Education Degrees. While they sound pretty fool-proof, we wanted to answer some questions you may have about them. We’ve put together a list of pros and cons that will help you decide which form of education, in class or online, would work better for you, your lifestyle, and your preferred learning environment!
 
 

Cons

Little interaction

With an online degree you are limited in interactions in many ways. The first way is that there is no face-to-face communication with the teachers. The students and the teachers do not have many opportunities to meet in person and talk about classes. Also, people who get online degrees do not get to meet as many people. Socializing is a large part of education. Being able to work in groups, large and small, is not available for those people earning online degrees. Both of these are cons because personal relations are a large part of a lot of people’s college careers.

The stigma of it not being a big accomplishment

In 2011 vault.com did a survey of human resource professionals. This survey revealed that a lot of people are skeptical of online bachelor degrees. 61 percent of people surveyed believed that online degrees are acceptable but not as credible, and 13 percent of people believed that online degrees are unacceptable.

Limitations on class types

A lot of classes can be taken online and taught very easily online, but there are some classes that would be close to impossible to take in an online environment. An example of this would be a science lab. It would be very expensive and very dangerous for people to be purchasing and using chemicals in their own homes with out the direct supervision of professors. This example relates back to our previous con regarding “little interaction.”

Pros

Complete it on your own time

Getting your degree online can take away a lot of the stresses and pressures faced by normal university students. You are able to work on your own time. You get to choose when and where you will do your studies whether that is at home in your pajamas or on the go on your smart phone.

They are cost effective (in some cases)

The costs of getting an online degree are going to be overall cheaper. Tuition at some online schools are generally cheaper, however this is not true for all. But the costs of commuting and school supplies are usually non-existent because you don’t have to go anywhere to attend school and most textbooks are made available online.

They are more accessible

One of the biggest and most obvious benefits of online degrees is its accessibility. No matter where you are, as long as you have an internet, you have the ability to get just about any degree that you want.

There are multiple degree options

You’re not limited to what degrees your local university offers. Not to mention, if a certain online degree program does not offer your study field of choice, you have the option of looking to other online programs of study. You have the opportunity to pursue any degree of your choosing online if you search for one containing your program. All you need is a computer and an internet connection.