Finding COMFORT and JOY in digital learning. Increased Student Engagement, Blended Learning, Paperless


Finding COMFORT and JOY in digital learning.

Increase Student Engagement, Blended Learning, Go Paperless with Learned Lessons




Find some JOY in going paperless or just get our of your COMFORT zone by trying DIGITAL resources! 

Guide to what a digital classroom looks like:
Are you contemplating stepping into the digital world?  Well, let me give you a few quick tips that I learned the hard way. 

First,  decide your current level.
Beginner Level- Not Familiar
-Start small.  Try a blended learning approach with paper and digital resources.  A good start would be to use a no cost online program such as www.CommonLit.org  or ReadWorks. Both of these programs are easy to use and will allow your students an organized online platform for reading information and other test aligned to your content and to common core standards. 
► Middle Level- Can Easily Get Around in a Digital World
-If you are familiar with some use of digital learning, then you probably have a google classroom set-up or can easily set one up.  I recommend using online learning for projects and activities throughout your unit.  Maybe you don’t have a device for every student in your class, but your school has computer labs and/or laptop carts available.  Also, if you have a set of iPads or other devices within your room, you could run center rotations to get projects or activities done throughout the unit. I would suggest timeline relays, puzzles, profile projects, or choice boards activities to eliminate the use of paper and to engage students in the content. Click here for ready to go digital products.  




► Advanced Level- Google Certified Level 1 or 2
-If you are ready to eliminate most paper from your room, then you are ready to go 100% digital.  You are also ready to get your kids creating new products using great digital software available.  Think about have your students create digital portfolios, making movies, coding, and creating their own blogs. 

Do your homework before you assign digital work:
Second, check the activity, make sure all links work, have a backup plan for internet outages, make sure you can monitor the students while they work (turn screens or use a program such as GoGuardian or Nearpod).

Make sure the activity aligns to the objective or standard:
Third, make sure the activity requires students to submit proof of their learning and measures the objective for the day.  
Have a set of guided questions, a writing prompt, a graphic organizer.
Whatever they turn in can be in a digital format or a print format using a digital resource.  This depends on how comfortable you are with the activity.
•Checkout the great American History, Civics, Geography, Science, and ELA digital products below. 

Make sure you model the expectations and explain digital safety:
Fourth, ensure students understand how to stay safe and use online content appropriately.  An easy way to do this is to send students to Scholastic’s 10 Digital Safety Commandments for Students for a fun take on digital responsibility and safety.  My favorite from the site is below:
      V. Your local library is offering a PlayStation 4 to the best  neighborhood poet. You   
      happened to find the most amazing Minecraft poem on the   web last night. 
      Do you cut and paste the poem into a Word document?
      NoThou shalt not steal. Plagiarism is a crime!” 

And last, but certainly not least, remember the overall purpose of digital learning.  MIT said it best,
Digital learning technologies can enable students to grasp concepts more quickly and fully, to connect theory and application more adeptly, and to engage in learning more readily, while also improving instructional techniques, leveraging instructor time, and facilitating the widespread sharing of knowledge. Digital technologies will enable this in new and better ways and create possibilities beyond the limits of our current imagination.” _MIT EDU

So, kick back and enjoy the Comforts of a paperless classroom with a few digital activities from Learned Lessons.  Or if you are new to digital learning, I challenge you to step out of your Comfort zone!  
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