Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Almost Paperless Homework

My colleague next door and I are trying paperless homework this week.  My colleague is going completely paperless while I have a bit of paper (two charts) involved.  I was inspired, in part, to do this by the Khan video where he suggests that homework should be the "learning by watching," while the classroom should be the hands-on, activity-based learning since teachers and peers can assist and facilitate.

My students' homework included the following:
  1. Watch at least one classmate's podcast and write a quality comment (compliment and connection) about it on that student's podcast comment thread each school night.
  2. Visit our online Fraction Action learning site.  Watch fraction videos, play games, and/or take tests online to explore and learn about fractions.
  3. Independent Reading.
Our school system's learning management system, It's Learning, gives me the chance to quickly check in to see who has signed in.  Last night 21/24 of the class signed on, and several posted comments.  Several also emailed me via our closed social network (NING) to ask questions and note log-on issues and other problems.  We spent some time in class today reviewing the problems and trouble shooting to help more students access the homework and assignments with ease.  I'm sure I'll get a few more emails tonight as students learn to navigate this new system.  My colleague was able to check in online to check his students' homework completion too.  

It's great to try this out with a colleague as we're able to share our thoughts, ideas, successes and challenges.  I'm going to continue to gauge the success of this venue as the year moves on.  Let me know if you have any thoughts or ideas regarding paperless homework and online work.  In the meantime, I'll continue to consult my "clients (students)" and assess the learning to choose the best venues for student success.