Assignment: Education - Paperless Classroom

Technology offers up-to-date lessons and textbooks

Published On: Mar 28 2012 08:19:50 AM CDT   Updated On: Mar 28 2012 08:51:33 AM CDT

DE SOTO, Wis. -- "We've been pretty much paperless for the last four years," said Ron Von Glahn, De Soto Middle and High School agriculture teacher.

The reason according to Von Glahn, in part, has to do with this beast.

"When you run the copy machine, the copies are expensive," said Von Glahn. "The textbooks are expensive. The less we have to run that copy machine, the better off the district is going to be."

And those textbooks Mr. Von Glahn mentioned come with a large price tag.

"Agriculture textbooks are so expensive and you can only buy so many a year," said Von Glahn. "If I have a class of 20 kids and they're $100 a piece that's quite expensive."

And agriculture has a wide range of subject matter which changes rapidly. These facts make it hard for textbooks and school budgets to keep up.

"When they're printed they're out of date," said Von Glahn. "The way things move in this world today, you can't put it in a book anymore. It's too slow."

So, Von Glahn turned to a company called My Caert which provides the updated online textbooks needed to teach his class.

"In my classroom, everybody has a computer," said Von Glahn. "We do most of the assignments here."

Von Glahn has 700 lessons online. The students do all of their readings through the online textbook and also take quizzes and tests online.

"At first, I was kind of sketched out about it," said McKenzie Kumlin, De Soto High School senior. "But then once we started it, it was a lot easier than doing paper work."

And it gives students an opportunity to experience a new learning resource.

"Usually, the other classes are just paper, paper, paper books," said Dylan Johnson, De Soto Middle School 7th grader. "Nothing ever really online unless you've got to look up a term for a word or something."

And in this day and age, Mr. Von Glahn says it's important for students to know how these online programs work.

"Kids that leave here are going to go onto some type of higher learning, and more than likely they will do their assignments online," said Von Glahn.

And in the not so far future, Mr. Von Glahn predicts more and more middle and high school classes will look just like his.

"Paperless is what we're going to be looking at 10-15 years from now," said Von Glahn. "Textbooks are going to be phased out."