The idea of going paperless, though not a new one, came to us in a collaborative meeting the grade 10 science team had today after school. For years, we have struggled to really make the Climate Change unit cohesive, fluid, and interactive. Not to say we haven’t tried or haven’t had any success in the unit, but every year it is one that seems to undergo major reconstruction. Perhaps this is a good thing, Climate Change and the concepts behind it are simply not as linear as the chemistry, physics, and biology (though less so) units. The study of climate is political, dynamic, and misunderstood and it lends itself to a much more different approach in pedagogy. The essential questions and enduring understandings see to have a better chance in coming to life in a more personal way.
Our attempt at making it stick out a little better this year involves taking the entire unit to a completely paperless world. Some may argue that this is not conducive to the holistic learning of a child, but I would argue that if it is something that informs change and actually impacts slightly on the actual issue at hand, then perhaps its worth exploring.
What it entitles:
Taking students outside of the classroom – hands on activities capturing and reflecting on pictures taken with their BYODs
Extensive use of Google Docs – Collaborative reflection, data analysis and lab submissions, Google Forms – assessment/evaluation
Moving students to Google Classroom for the unit – Management of files in Google Docs (See post on Google Classroom)
Twitter/Blogs – Connect with a scientist, ask questions, make it authentic
Integration of SAMR – Make it more meaningful
In the end, we hope that the students gain valuable skills, seek to learn more through digital media related to climate change, converse and discuss in a digital forum, and perhaps appreciate the fact that no pencil, pen, and paper was used during the unit that focuses on the impacts that we have on the world around us.
And perhaps a small change in our everyday life can really invoke a greater difference in the world.