Teacher Tech blog with Alice Keeler

Paperless Is Not a Pedagogy

Alice Keeler

Google Classroom: Do Not Go Digital

Google Classroom: Do Not Go Digital


Recently I was in a teacher’s classroom and she was showing off these awesome geometry town projects her students had created. She gleefully told me how much fun the students had being creative in designing their town. Some students took the assignment well beyond the minimum requirements and even started to devise how the town government would work.

After demonstrating Google Drawing she pondered that the students could do this same project in Google Draw.

Yes…. you could… BUT….

Is That The Right Tool?

Technology was not going to improve this project. In fact, I would guess the students would have less fun and be less creative if they were not allowed to use scissors, glue, markers and construction paper.

Be Non Digital

Sometimes the right technology is no technology. Google Classroom supports students making awesome projects with glue and scissors. Using the Google Classroom mobile app students can take pictures of their non-digital work and submit straight to Google Classroom. What makes this better is that the teacher can leave comments in Google Classroom for the students. She was not able to post comments directly on the students work before. Submitting via Google Classroom also allows for systematic submission, organization of student work, and the ability to share exemplars with future classes or with parents.

If a teacher does not have mobile devices to allow students to submit pictures of their non-digital work, students can still attach pictures through the Google Classroom site. In a Google Document students can insert a picture by snapshot. Using the webcam, students can take pictures directly into a Google text document. A $69 iPevo document camera is great for taking pictures of student work. The iPevo document camera plugs in via USB and gives students the flexiblity to take pictures of their work flat on the desk or at any angle.


1 thought on “Google Classroom: Do Not Go Digital

  1. When I read the title, I was immediately angry and had to come read the article, so good onya for a masterful example of effective click-bait (and I mean that in the nicest way possible!). I like what you’re saying – you CAN be digital without being “digital” – great point. As a high school teacher, I’ve utilized Classroom in the way you’ve described for certain projects. HOWEVER, with a lot of pencil-and-paper work, going digital is the environmentally conscious thing to do. I’ve managed to cut my paper usage down by 90%, simply by requiring that most assignments be submitted digitally. Hand-written work can be scanned in and inserted into a Google Doc and submitted digitally. No more handouts or collected stacks of paper.

    I think you’re right on, for SOME cases.

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