Friday, March 22, 2013

UPDATE: The Paperless Office! How's your 21st Century Classroom?


Here's an update to an old post I made 11/2011 but is still timely today. Below, please find a summary of my workflow for my 21st Century Paperless Classroom! I know I posted this over a year ago, but it pretty much summarizes what I still do today! The only difference is that I have a lot more of my own media to flip the classroom and I do a lot more whiteboarding in class these days. In addition to the blog itself, here's some of the new multimedia I generated in class for my students:


OK, I've got this down to a science! This year, I'm ScreenCasting from a Linux desktop with a real SmartBoard as needed and focusing on AP Computer Science with java (UPDATE: I'm recording Computer Science Honors this year). I hope you have been enjoying all the new recordings! However, I'm also using recordings from prior years for preCalculus and AP Calculus. Next year I hope to record Computer Math and Calculus Research Lab (UPDATE: BIN DER DUN DAT).

Typically, I start a Math unit on with an assignment sheet listing daily topics, homeworks, quizzes and tests for a whole chapter of the textbook. These assignment sheets usually span 2-4 school weeks. I link to the appropriate MP4 file from to Edmodo daily and Blogspot weekly. I also link the current PDF from to Blogspot weekly. Note: I don't record, upload or link anything to do with review material, quizzes, tests or solutions (UPDATE: I did record some review sessions in Computer Science Honors this year). For example, today I linked to pre506.mp4 on Compounded Bank Interest from Youtube to Edmodo as shown above. I also uploaded pre506.pdf to Slideshare for future reference!

A Computer unit on Edmodo usually starts with uploading the current chapter as a PDF of our etext (UPDATE: I still don't have eTexts for Math classes). Then I upload the exercises for that chapter. Finally, I give out hardcopies only of the curent lab assignment or test (UPDATE: I cannot upload or record copyrighted documents unless I myself created them). Again, I link MP4s from to Edmodo daily and to Blogspot weekly. I also link from or SAGE to Blogspot weekly. For example, I recorded C5X0X1.mp4 today and uploaded it to Youtube and linked it to Edmodo as shown above. Further, I uploaded and to Pastebin for the weeekly blog.

In my Math classes, everything I do at the SmartBoard, including what I say, is recorded in real time! I attach a wireless lapel mic to my SmartBoard PC and run in the background (UPDATE: I lost the wireless mic due to Hurricane Sandy, so I use a USB mic now). Screencast-o-matic renders the recording as an MP4 file that I upload to YouTube (UPDATE: I'm using a desktop recorder called avconv these days as it renders quickly). SmartNotebook files can be exported to PDF and I upload these files to Slideshare as shown above. Actually, I'm using Xournal on 64bit Ubuntu this year instead of SmartNotebook as there's only a 32bit version for Linux, but the result is the same. I only use SmartNotebook as a pen app anyway (UPDATE: I'm using a 32bit Ubuntu Desktop right now, so SmartNotebook works fine).

My Computing classes are a little more keyboard intensive. I still use the lapel mic to record what I say as I type. However, for these classes I'm stuck at my desktop in the back of the room. I use a Bluetooth Wacom Gaphire 6x8 tablet, aka Smart Airliner Slate, to write on the SmartBoard remotely if need be (UPDATE: I'm looking into replacing the Graphire with a Droid Tablet like the Kindle Fire HD 8.9" using an app like SplashTop). TXT files I type for these classes get uploaded to Pastebin as shown above. I also upload new MP4s from Screencast-o-matic for these classes to YouTube.

I link all these files to my blog weekly and to Edmodo daily for students that are absent or want to review old topics. However, I do not link files from pastebin or slideshare to Edmodo anymore. I find that doing so just clutters up the Edmodo page for each class (Edmodo looks and feels a lot like Facebook but is private for the teacher and students of each class). Otherwise, the result is a huge number of links from the beginning of a unit to the end making it hard to find the first postings, such as assignment sheets, when needed. The files on pastebin and slideshare do get linked to my blog on a weekly basis so students have access to written class notes whether it be SmartNotes as PDFs or code as TXTs. BTW, code for Computer Math and Calculus Research Lab is linked from my account on a SAGE server as shown above (CM 4.4 Infinite Series).

Well, that's all folks!
Teaching with Technology, 

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