21st Century Learning @
HALB Middle School
Ms. Kristen Waterman
Ms. Kristen Waterman teaches 7th and 8th grade Social Studies. She has become one of the leaders of integrating technology in the classroom.
EL: What does it mean to have a paperless classroom? What are the benefits?
KW: The kids in my class have not used an ounce of paper since the beginning of the year. All tests and work are done on their iPads. Each day, they obtain the necessary materials for the lessons from Haiku including “Do Now”s, Aims, and even exit tickets. There are multiple benefits to this. First of all, students cannot lose the worksheets that they are given. Second, when students are absent they can easily catch up. Third, it allows for me to give almost instantaneous feedback on tests, quizzes, and even written assignments.
There are benefits for me too! I do not have to carry around large piles of student work and I can grade them anywhere I have access to a computer. Lastly, and perhaps more importantly, it allows for my lessons to be completely student based. If I see that students are struggling with a concept, I can change the subsequent lessons without worrying about having to wait for copies.
EL: What are your favorite 2 tools to use in the classroom?
KW: 1. Good Notes - It allows for students to be able to take notes, download worksheets, and keep their thoughts in an organized fashion. 2. Haiku - During a lesson I can post links for kids to look at. It allows the kids to discuss topics after school hours in a controlled environment.
EL: How do you find that the learning has changed since you started
KW: I find it easier to create more innovative and fun lessons for the kids. In my opinion, the students have become much more engaged since my classes went paperless. I find groupwork and differentiation much easier. I can assign a partner activity where one student will be assigned to watch a short three minute film on the topic and another student will read. Then they can share what they learned. In addition, because of how easily information is shared, students that are absent are not falling behind. They are usually able to keep up.