The paperless classroom in high school physics

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Letters & Science


At my high school, many of the classrooms have class sets of devices, such as laptops, Chromebooks, or iPads. As the school purchased more and more technology, the administration also cut back on our paper availability and began to limit our copies. Due to the influx of technology and the decrease in paper availability, I decided to study the efficiency and effectiveness of a paperless classroom. In my high school physics class I taught one unit traditionally, all on paper, the next unit was taught nearly paperless, with work being distributed and turned in electronically. I surveyed students about their feelings towards paper versus paperless assignments, notes, and exams. Classwork completion rates were compared between the two units. I gave a pre-test and post-test for each unit to compare achievement. I also kept a time log and teacher journal each day. Many students did not have positive attitudes towards going paperless in the beginning, but by the end, most students had a positive attitude towards the paperless classroom. The classwork completion rates showed a gain from the paper unit to the paperless unit. The test results were also better in the paperless unit. The time log showed that time spent taking out and putting away devices was saved by not having to pass out papers and transitions were quicker. The journals showed that making the switch to paperless was frustrating for both the teacher and the students at first, but the experience became more and more positive as the unit progressed. This project had a positive outcome and I will continue to head towards a nearly paperless high school physics classroom.




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