We caught up with Carmella Berthia who teaches modern band at World Language High School in Chicago about a her new initiative this year, going paperless in her music classroom. She has a class of 50 – 60 music students and became frustrated with the hassle of endless sheets of paper.
Carmella explains many of the benefits of going paperless:
- Keep all your data, files, and content in sync and get visibility into your instructional material and student work
- Helps shy students feel more comfortable engaging and asking questions
- Gathering, organizing, and keeping track of student work is much easier and less error prone
- Makes it much easier to give students personalized instruction in a 50 minute class
If you are thinking about going paperless for your music class, here are some tools that Carmella recommends:
- Flat Platform
- Google tools (slides, forms, docs, sheets)
- Flipgrid / Screencastify
- Chrome Music Lab
- It’s important to advocate to district leaders what tools you need
Here are some negative considerations you should watch for as you go paperless:
- Burnout. Students have been online for an entire year, maybe they don’t want to be on their phones when they get back in the classroom. It is important to balance some classes that don’t require screen time.
- Technology learning curve for students that didn’t log on at all during the pandemic, they will have some catchup to do
- Cost: one-to-one devices can be expensive. Donor Choose is a great place to look for grants to help support the costs.
- Schools that don’t have one-to-one devices and also ban phones will make it challenging to go paperless