Friday, June 22, 2012

Teaching with Tech: The Paperless Office - once a dream, now a reality!

Here's my last report of the HS year, due on the last day of the HS year:

Peer Coaching Focus:
“How can I improve student performance using the Paperless office approach?”

Peer Coaching Partner:
I have benefited greatly from my discussions with my Peer Coaching Partner, George Drakatos, aka @urStatsTeacher. I have found it invaluable to bounce new ideas off him from using Edmodo as an electronic NoteBook to using SAGE as an on-line WorkBook just to name a few topics we discussed related to teaching and learning Mathematics with technology.

Peer Coaching Stategies:
I had two sections of Math 4R-12, preCalculus 4 Seniors, this year. Math 4R-12 gives the students an opportunity to hone their skills preparing them to take Calculus next year. Math 4R-12 covers the traditional preCalculus course in 3 Quarters of the year and introduces the concepts of limits, derivatives and integrals from Calculus during Quarter IV.

The pace is very difficult for these students to maintain. Therefore, I am trying new strategies to encourage my students to keep up with the pace as well as to maintain a good grade in the course. I ScreenCast every new topic as an MP4 file and store all SmartNotes as PDFs. Then I upload these files to Edmodo most everyday. 

I incorporated these strategies throughout the year. However, I used Period 9 as a control. I introduced Edmodo to Period 9 later in the year than I did in Period 1. I found that my Period 9 results improved dramatically once they started using Edmodo. I also started using SAGE with both sections in Quarter IV. I found that the students really enjoyed using SAGE as an on-line WorkBook in place of a TI-83. The students were really working in a paperless office then as all my notes were on Edmodo and all their work was on SAGE. 

Peer Coaching Assessment:
Both sections of Math 4R-12, preCalculus 4 Seniors, are now doing very well. I really think this success is due to the new teaching strategies described above! My students now have access to all class videos and notes at any time of the day or night. If a student is absent, he or she can easily catch up on the missed work. Also, if a student needs to review an old topic, all ScreenCasts, SmartNotes and WorkBooks are available from the beginning of the year to the present day.

I have found that, over the course of the year, these students have become more and more proficient in learning new material on their own as they gain ownership over each new topic.  The experience my students got from using Edmodo and SAGE not only improved their grades, but also affected classroom work in a positive way.  Now my students tend to be more organized and better focused in class.  These students also tend to take more pride in their work and are assets to class discussions. Students also learned a great deal from using a Computer Algebra System such as SAGE for the first time.

Next year, we are ready to “Flip the Classroom!” I think I'll do so with my lab intensive course, APCS. I recorded new videos for AP Computer Science for this entire school year. I also have lots of notes in the form of java code!

Well, that's all folks!

1 comment:

  1. Yup! Paperless office is a dream come true. And thanks to business solutions, such as document scanning services, for that.