9 Educational Tools to Transform Your Class Into A Paperless Classroom

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With the proliferation of web technologies and mobile apps, the concept of a paperless digital classroom becomes more relevant than any time before. At the core of this concept is the integration of educational technology in your dialy instruction in such a way that goes beyong the substitutive level (the first level in SAMR model), meaning you only use technology to substitute the tasks you would normally use in a traditional way, to a more transoformative and creative level where you get to tap into new learning/teaching possibilites  and redefine the way you teach. The purpose is not to use technology for the sake of technology but rather to create and open new unchartered educational territories and help students explore learning from different perspectives. To do this you need to be familiar with the theoretical background underlying the paperless classroom concept and also be equipped with the proper tools and apps to assist you in realizing it in your own teaching situation. Today’s post addresses the second requirement. It features some of our favourite web tools and apps teachers can use to tranfsorm their class into a paperless learning space. Some of the things you can do with these resources include:
  • Create, distribute and receive assignments
  • Collect and provide timely feedback
  • Take notes, annotate PDFs and share instructions
  • Communicate with parents and keep them informed of classroom learning
  • Create and share digital learning PDFs
  • Initiate formative assessments through quizzes, polls and exit tickets
  • Track grades, record attendance, create seating charts
  • Signing and sharing documents electronically
1- Google Drive

Google Drive is absolutely one of the indispensable tools in the digital classroom. It provides teachers with a variety of educational tools and features to help them create , store and share different forms of documents, spreadsheets, slides and drawings. It also provides collaborative features that enhance team work and collaboration. Google Drive is also available for different devices  and works seamlessly across various platforms. Alternatives to Drive can be Dropbox, Evernote,

2- Showbie

‘Showbie is a free educational app for teachers and students that makes creating and completing assignments, providing assessments, and storing grades easy. Some of its features include:
  • Share work from thousands of compatible iPad apps in a few taps
  • Use the pen tool and pin text notes directly on any PDF or image
  • Quickly distribute instructions and materials to your whole class
  • Chat privately with individual students to provide timely feedback
  • Record voice notes for verbal feedback or language exercises
  • Quickly review and assess batches of student work and provide rich, valuable feedback
  • Add student work to individual digital portfolios, or enable students to curate their own portfolios
  • Invite parents to view their student’s work and keep them informed of classroom activity
  • Can be used with any classroom subject
  • Available in 13 languages.’
3- Socrative Teacher

‘Engage, assess and personalize your class with Socrative! Educators can initiate formative assessments through quizzes, quick question polls, exit tickets and space races all with their Socrative Teacher app. Socrative will instantly grade, aggregate and provide visuals of results to help you identify opportunities for further instruction. Save time and visualize student understanding when it matters, now! To get started using Socrative, simply register for a Socrative Teacher account. Your Socrative account will work with other Socrative Apps and via all browsers. Students can connect to your unique room by opening their apps or joining your room on Socrative from any device.’

4- Nearpod

‘The Nearpod platform enables teachers, schools and districts, to use their iPads to manage content on students' iPads, iPhones, iPods or Macs. It seamlessly combines interactive presentation, collaboration, and real-time assessment tools into one integrated solution.’

5- Notability

‘Students, teachers, and business professionals use Notability daily to take notes, sketch ideas, annotate PDFs, mark-up photos, record lectures, provide audio feedback and more. It is uniquely designed for each device to provide the best note taking experience at school, at home, and at work. And with iCloud, your notes are always up to date.’

6- DocuSign

‘DocuSign is a great app for signing and getting documents signed from your iPhone or iPad. It is one of the most widely used eSignature and Digital Transaction Management platform in the world. Key features include:
  • Fill out and sign documents for free, there is no monthly limit.
  • Send the complete document to anyone via email, Dropbox, Box, Evernote, Google Drive, and more.
  • Create and customize your personalized signature right from your iPhone or iPad.
  • Supports PDF, Word, Excel, Images (JPEG, PNG, TIFF), Text, and more.
  • Open an email attachment in DocuSign or important documents from cloud services including Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Evernote, and Salesforce. 
  • Offline access allows you to sign even when there isn’t internet connection – even on a plane.’
7- Emodo

Edmodo makes a teacher’s daily life easier by providing a safe and easy way for teachers and students to engage and collaborate for free, anytime, anywhere. You can use Edmodo for :  Secure classroom discussions, posting assignments, gradebook tracking, file sharing and uploading and many more. key features include:
  • Classroom activity feed
  • Student progress tracker
  • Educational resource library
  • Professional learning networks.’

‘Classroom is designed to help teachers create and collect assignments paperlessly, including time-saving features such as the ability to automatically make a copy of a Google Document for each student. It also creates Drive folders for each assignment and for each student to help keep everyone organized. Students can keep track of what's due on the Assignments page and begin working with just a click. Teachers can quickly see who has or hasn't completed the work, and provide direct, real-time feedback and marks from within Classroom.’

9- Kahoot

Kahoot is a web tool that allows you to easily create and play quizzes, discussions or surveys (Kahoots). Using a simple 'drag & drop' creator tool on any device, you can build quizzes with embedded imagery and video, based on educational content. Or, find public content to play. Kahoot also allows you to engage your audience and grab their attention by projecting the quiz onto the screen at the front. Without needing an account, everyone in the room quickly joins through their personal device, seeing their name appear at the front. Real time feedback is also supported.
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