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Thursday, 29 August 2013 17:30

Perry-Lecompton classroom goes paperless

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Walking into Saul Heide's 7th grade Language Arts class at Perry-Lecompton Middle School is an experience unlike any other. Instead of chatty adolescents, there are students sitting quietly, headphones in, doing their school work on iPads.

After completing his master's degree online and reading an article about a high school teacher who went paperless, Heide decided to make the jump himself. He eliminated paper last year and isn't turning back. Heide outlawed pen and paper in his classroom, but added headphones to the school supply list.

With carts of iPads shared throughout the school, a desktop lab next door, and a laptop lab across the hall, the opportunity for incorporating technology into the curriculum are endless. Students aren't allowed to take computers home, but any homework they have outside of the classroom is reading.

"With a lot of these kids living on farms or in rural areas where the strength of that internet signal can't be relied upon all the time, I don't ever want to penalize them for that kind of thing happening," Heide said.

The Perry-Lecompton school district pushes technology implementation. According to Heide, not only are his students learning the content in his class, but working with technology has become second nature to them.

Although the amount of grading hasn't changed for Heide, not having stacks of essays piling up on his desk helps him keep organized.

"I've yet to have any complaints or any of my own personal hang-ups on why I wouldn't want to do this," he said.

This year the high school bought iPads for each student, so Heide thinks getting his students used to them now will help prepare them for the future.