Monday, September 27, 2010

Saving Paper in Your Classroom

Obviously, the best way to save paper is to issue laptops to every student and use tools such as Moodle and Google Docs to share information and collaborate. Well I don't suspect that we will be a 1 to 1 school any time soon so here are five tools that you can use to minimize how much paper you use in your classroom.

Moodle is a great tool for minimizing printing that we have access to here at Franklin Regional. Moodle allows you to post assignments, homework, and handouts. You can also have class discussion and chats, allow students to upload completed assignments and even use the quiz feature for online assessments. If you want a class page set up contact Roger Crider or Frank Muto to get started.

Google Docs provides a web based alternative to the Microsoft Office suite. Students and teachers can create documents, spreadsheets, presentations and forms online that can be shared. For example, if you have students creating a word document and printing it to turn it in you can instead have them create it in Google Docs and have them share it with the teacher. No need for printing. Google Forms is a great tool for assessing students or gathering data. You can create a test, quiz, or survey that students can access online and it will allow you to check it online, again without using any paper.

Print What You Like, is another web based tool that allows you to print exactly what you want from any website. Using this tool you don't have to print an entire webpage. You can select what parts of the page you would like to print and only print those parts. Users can also remove images from the background or foreground of a website before printing.

PrintFriendly, gives you the ability to print content from a webpage without printing the ads and widgets in the side columns. There are two ways to use PrintFriendly. You can copy and paste an article's url into the PrintFriendly homepage or use the PrintFriendly bookmarklet. Using the bookmarklet seems simpler as it doesn't require any toggling between browser tabs or windows.

Printliminator is a bookmarklet for Firefox, Chrome and Safari that allows you to highlight a page and select only the parts of the page that you want to print. You can install Printliminator in seconds by just clicking and dragging the black box into your browser's toolbar.

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