While exploring the applications from the seriously old article about Web 2.0 apps (7 years is more than 3 lifetimes considering Moore’s law), I decided to read more about Google applications. I chose this as my district already is subscribed, and my students already have an account and use Gmail and Google Docs. They have access to the other applications such as calendar, Google Drive, etc but rarely use them. I was one of the first teachers in my district to have students use the Google suite of apps, and have been searching for a way to make the use of these applications more seamless into what we already do. The problem seems to be that my district has too many applications and platforms to choose from and both students and staff become overwhelmed by the number of websites, log ins, or knowing which platform to use in a given situation.
A paperless class is something I, as a classroom teacher, have been slowly working on implementing. Over the years I have tried using wikis, moodles, online journals, and even email. Lately I have been using our grading package, Parent Portal, and Google Docs to make this a reality. Surprisingly the biggest resistance seems to come from my students, as many of them are reluctant to use email or Google Docs as they are not seamless enough for them. Access to computers and the proper software is also an issue as gaining access to both requires effort on their part and many are not willing, oftentimes, to make an effort. I had hoped that going one-to-one this coming school year would help with that, but that has been put on hold. Instead I may have to think outside of the box to make this a reality.