Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Goin' Paperless

Is it possible for an elementary teacher to go paperless?

As elementary teachers its always about the "time," we simply do not have enough of it. Whether its time with the students, time to plan, time to meet with colleagues, time to reflect, or time with our families. You name it there is always some element of our time that is being challenged. By far, the weakest link in my chain is trying to keep all the paperwork organized, and managing this eats so much of my time up relatively quickly.

So I have been asking myself, "Self, what are some ways you could save time?" As I look around my classroom, I am surrounded by an endless sea of paper. I have dozens of 3 ring binders that are jammed packed with great resources, I have a filing cabinet that is complete with 7 years of files for every subject, and endless memos that are neatly "piled" throughout my room.

I have found a scanner that might help. In my mind, I am going to digitize my entire filing cabinet and then upload them to my Blackboard Site for staff, students, and parents. I would have constant access to my files, curriculum, and memos and could then share them as well. I don't know, I simply wonder if I might be creating more work for myself.

"Self, what are some ways you could save time?"

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Never Too Late, or is it?

There are 13 days remaining, 3:00 on a Friday, and my fifth grade students have their infamous Friday Folders. This is when I discover that David Warlick's Blogging site, Class Blogmeister, has recently been unblocked on our school's server. YES!

I couldn't wait until Monday and found myself wishing there were more days left with my students so I could thoroughly get a blogging project off the ground. So, when I got home and started telling my wife about the great news she handed me a copy of Will Richardson's book Blogs, Wikis, and Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms that I had ordered a couple of days prior. Perfect.

The weekend was intense while I was gathering as many resources as I could find from the Internet and organized some of the information on Mr. Howell's Classroom Wiki. I also found myself clinging to every word in Will Richardson's book and referring to many of the websites he noted.

During this year I have constantly felt this uneasy feeling that we were running out of time. Because of this, I have taught with an intense sense of urgency, not in a maniacal sense, simply utilizing each minute to its full capacity. I have turned a corner in my career and it seems that with every professional conversation I have with other teachers it always leads back to the same topic, "The World is Flat."

Am I insane to even take something like this blogging project on with so few days left in the school year?

Picture posted on Flickr by Misterteacher