Friday, July 15, 2011

Paperless Spaces

After reading the article by Abigail Beshkin on Columbia University's first paperless undergraduate class I was completely intrigued and wished that opportunities like that were around when I was going for my undergraduate degree.  I thought it offers a whole new world of learning for the students, and not to mention the cost savings on textbook materials.  Even as I continue my education post masters, I am still plagued by textbook costs!  I truly have wondered why all the online classes I have taken still require textbooks?? In an online class, I would have thought that using textbooks would have decreased but in the last 3 years, I haven't seen a change yet but Columbia University posted this article in 2000, 11 years ago...
I do not think that the role of the teacher would change much in a paperless classroom, teachers are becoming more of facilitators and this would just increase the push of more of a passive teaching role.  I think this would encourage more of an inquiry based learning experience will all the tools at the fingertips of the students to find the answers to their inquiries.  Yet, I do not foresee this as beneficial in the elementary levels, but most definitely at the high school and possibly older middle school aged classrooms. The elementary classroom could use it as supplemental readings for the students, but many still struggle with reading off a computer screen and using the tools that are being taught for going back into the text to highlight what is essential to the reading.  Although, at an older age they could be taught how to highlight on screen.  Overall, I think it would be a positive touch to the non traditional digital aged Web 2.0 classroom!

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