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. Bonusno 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. Bonusyou 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