A Paperless Project

I have been immersed in paper for most of my adult life.  First, reading and grading thousands of papers every year while teaching middle school English, and then as an editor here at TCR.  After all, isn’t that what a publishing house is all about?  The simple answer to that is, “It used to be.”  But times are changing.  I have just had the experience of completing my first totally non-paper product.  These were the Lit Kits we just completed for Promethean Planet.  These amazingly interactive products did not require us to print anything on paper.

In many ways it was an odd experience.  So many of the components needed to be treated as if we were going to publish a paper product.  I had to figure out many new ways of doing old things.  For instance, how would we keep track of who had the online proofreading jobs to proofread the product.  Even more important, how was it going to be proofread—on hard copy or interactive white board?  (Full disclosure here, we finally did print out copies for proofreading but also spent lots of time at the interactive board.)  These are monumental questions when you need to get a product out.

It took some good old-fashioned thinking (see my blog on Think Time, September, 2010).  I found myself starting things one way and then realizing they might need to be finished in another way.  I also had to begin really thinking differently.  How does a vocabulary page become interactive?  Can you make a lesson in sequencing something that moves around?  What about a cause-and-effect lesson?  It’s usually such a tough thing to teach, will interactivity make it easier?  All of this and the whole idea of no paper of which to speak were rumbling around in my brain.  All these were questions that needed to be answered to move forward on the project.  Did the questions get answered?  They really did.  All you have to do to see them is to look at the Lit Kits at PrometheanPlanet.com and you can see for yourself.

So as our first paperless products appear, it just begs the question:  Are you going paperless in your classroom?

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