Welcome to our Professional Learning Community!

We are here to help you understand what a paperless classroom is.  On this website, you will be able to find various articles, resources, online tools, videos, and other helpful and latest information about creating a paperless classroom.

We hope that you will leave this site with useful information to create your own paperless classroom.

What is a paperless classroom?
A paperless classroom is just that... paperless. It is not only the effort, but the successful integration of technology in the classroom that eliminates all purposes of paper, ink, clutter, and stuff. Instead, this classroom will be completely cloud based. Students will be able to access their lessons, homework, and grades solely through the internet or school network.
Why is going paperless important?
According to an article by Jeremy Rinkel, "Going paperless in the classroom reduces paper waste, which means that less energy is used in the making of paper and that fewer natural resources are destroyed." In a society that is constantly struggling to find a way to limit our output of paper, as well as our destruction of natural resources, our Professional Learning Community strongly supports the benefits of a paperless classroom. Students will still remain educated on the values of recycling, they just wouldn't be required to do it on such a daily basis.

In that same article, Rinkel goes on to state that "It also creates a conservation mind-set in students and educates them on related issues." One of our main goals as future educators is to help students understand the importance of providing for a more successful future. If we can teach them the benefits of recycling, reducing, and reusing, all while they continuously cut down on their own waste, we will be helping to better prepare our students for the future.

Perhaps most importantly, however, Rinkel believes that "Creating a paperless classroom also allows the teacher to introduce new technologies to students." Nowadays, so many employers require a vast amount of tech-knowledge, and those students that are lacking in this may find it much harder to be successful, let alone find a job. An example of a paperless classroom would be our Instructional Technology Education course here at UW-Stevens Point. While we have used little to no paper throughout the duration of the class, we have learned how to use and implement several vital tools that make our workload easier, all while cutting back on the output of paper and natural resources destruction.

What will I need to successfully pull this off?
So you would like to have a paperless classroom. You now know what it means to be paperless, and why it is important, but what do you need to get started? Here is step one, our wiki page on Creating a Paperless Classroom! Remember to read through our wiki page before jumping in too deep. You will want to explore the Online Tools on the left hand column, and remember to weigh the Pros and Cons of this dramatic change in your classroom.
Next, you will need some tools.These tools will allow you to access this paperless classroom, the cloud, and connect with your students.

SMARTboard - Interactive learning white board that can be used in the classroom. Projects the computer screen, can be written on like a white board, has interactive activities for manipulation of objects projected on the board, and gives opportunity for interactive and reusable objects.

iPad (or other tablet devices) - This handy, compact tablet adds mobility to the common computer function. Added to these are applications that are basicall y programs created for one purpose. Applications are becoming very important for a learning standpoint. Th ey can be used for inte ractive learning strategies, practices, and assessment.
Mobile (Smart) Phones - Yes! These are useful for a paperless classroom. There are several tools online that utilize the commonly use student mobile phones to get involved in surveys and polls.  You can even use texting capabilities if it is available for use on your device.
Jump Drive (USB) - This is a handy backup tool to store information and documents. However, this tool is becoming a thing of the past because of great tools used online to store your information out in the cloud.
Paper shredder with CD (compact disc) destroyer: There will be times when someone messes up and turns in their final essay in the traditional paper format. Then, be sure to recycle the paper! However, the CD shredder is what is going to be very important in your paperless classroom . If a student has difficulties accessing their information online, they can always burn information and turn it in via CD-rom. CD's are dangerous to break, and should be disposed of properly.

Scanner - Be prepared to scan in all of the wonderful resources and materials that you have previously been using in the classroom. With the scanner you can be sure to make these handouts access to the students without needing to print out the information.
Computers - You will need one for yourself and remember to provide laptops or computers to those who do not have a reliable one at home. This is essential for the student to be able to get involved in the paperless classroom. Recently, tablets have been replacing the need of computers because they have the majority of the programs needed to conduct research and communications online.

Website/Domain/Blackboard - If you are interested in having your classes online, you are going to need a place on the web where students know they can connect up with the rest of the class. This can be done easily through an Online Blackboard program so the students can meet at once for an online class with you (the teacher). However, paperless classrooms do not need to strictly be for online classes. We encourage you to integrate the idea of a paperless classroom in your everyday, 2nd period, lecture hall kind of classroom. For the class to function as paperless, students need a place for resources, discussions, and updates on events or assignments. Having your own website dedicated to this online environment makes this much easier. For example, this could be your faculty website, this could be a free website through a domain space purchasing company, or created through Google sites (like we have done for this wiki!)