In 2003 the School
of the Future became the first paperless school. A joint project of the School District of
Philadelphia and Microsoft, the School of the Future was created to help
integrate technology in the classroom and help the environment. To avoid waste
and save trees, students used only computers, and all books, tests, grade
tracking, reports, and communications were done online. Eminence Middle School
in Kentucky followed suit in 2005 and started its own paperless classroom experiment
with Windows CE and PDAs.
Today, their vision of going green in education is catching
on. Teachers, administrators, and students are coming up with new ways to go
paperless all the time, from online admissions to class websites to making
videos for book reports and “papers” to e-books, e-notebooks, and e-portfolios.
One new way to go green by teaching paperless is to use
Mouse Mischief. Here are just a few ways that Mouse Mischief lessons can save
paper (and pencils)—not to mention time and money.
By creating your own multiple-mouse lessons on
your computer, you won’t be as dependent
on textbooks for teaching essential
content. And there’s a bonus—playing Mouse Mischief lessons on a screen for the
class means every student can see and
learn the content; no more sharing of textbooks in overcrowded classrooms, no
more excuses of lost or forgotten textbooks!
Remember those piles of mimeographed or Xeroxed worksheets?
With Mouse Mischief, worksheets are
ancient artifacts. Now, instead of handing each student his or her own
worksheet, you can project a single yes/no, multiple-choice, or drawing slide
on a screen where they can all work simultaneously using their mice. Bonus—no
more taking time to make sure you have enough worksheets and more time in class
to hand them out. You can go right from your lesson to the multiple-mouse
screen you want them to work on.
When you use Mouse Mischief, you eliminate pencils and all their
problems–not sharpened, broken, eraserless, lost, smudges everywhere. Using
mice to click or draw answers is cleaner and more efficient, as well as a good
way to save trees.
Mouse Mischief can be used for formative
assessment, to help you gauge how your students are learning and see if you
need to adjust your lesson. That means you
don’t have to hand out and collect paper pop quizzes anymore to get a
reading on how the class is doing with the material. You can insert multiple-mouse
slides in your lessons instead. Bonus—you get immediate feedback, instead of
having to stay after school or stay up late to mark those paper quizzes, and
you’ll never lose a student’s quiz transporting them between school and home.
Explore paperless alternatives to traditional paper student
reports. Instead of assigning a book report or paper, why not ask
individuals or student teams to create a Mouse Mischief lesson to demonstrate
their mastery of certain material? They can demonstrate that they know a
certain topic and use the multiple-mouse slides to engage their peers and
practice being teachers themselves. You can collect their lessons on a student
website for other students to use to learn or review material.
It’s probably not possible to go entirely paperless in the
classroom, as Allen H. Kupetz concludes in “Is
the Paperless Classroom Possible?”, but you can go almost paperless and the advantages of doing so are tremendous. It
saves money as well as the environment, it enables you to put together your own
unique set of teaching resources, and it makes it easier to adjust lesson
contents to meet your students where they are. Mouse Mischief can help you go green in your
classroom—all while keeping the fun in learning.
To find or share more ideas on how to teach paperless, join the
Partners in Learning community or read this blog.