Paperless Pedagogy

A paperless classroom can use a number of different platforms, each one with different stronger features. Here at Graded teachers have been using either Google Sites or Blogger as a classroom platform. Our  discussion focus will be the impact and possibilities of a paperless classroom on pedagogy, while technical features will be explored in screencasts and online tutorials during self-directed learning. We will also create and participate on a Professional Learning Network /Community to help broaden and continue our learning.

Paperless Classroom Pedagogy


Create your Classroom Online

a.  Using Google Sites

b.  Using Blogger


Topics in Paperless Pedagogy


For student independence, it is important to have resources organized. Typically, the teacher is the curator of resources, but the student can also curate resources to share with the classroom, or take turns as curators of the week.

With Google Sites Static Pages:

 With Blogger :



Your online classroom can work as a great venue for communication about homework. An option that you may consider for some situations, is to flip your class. Basically, in a flipped class, off-class time is used to go over screencasts or research to gather some information and basic understanding about a learning goal. Classroom time is used to ask questions, practice and discuss.  Click HERE for some tips regarding flipped instruction. Assigning homework or flipped-class activities can work in the same way in technical terms. The difference is the content of homework or flip-class.

With Google Sites:

  • An announcements type of web page is very useful to share homework, as it is chronological.
    •  When creating a new page, just click on the drop down menu next to “Select a Template”, then choose “Announcements”.
  • Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 1.01.12 PM
    • To insert a box on the front page showing the latest announcements/homework, click the Edit button on the front page, place your cursor and click Insert > Recent Posts. Then select the webpage where you have your Homework/Flipclass announcements.


    • See an example of how to show latest homework on the site’s front page.

With Blogger :

  • Posting of homework or any off-class activity works really well  as blog posts. This is because blog posts work as announcements. Make sure you create an appropriate label, so it is easy to retrieve all “homework”, or “flip-class” activities.



Your lesson plans and/or activities can be shared directly as static pages or posts, instead of being hosted on Google Docs. In this way they can be nicely laid out

With Google Sites static pages:

  • Just organize activity pages inside your Units. The trick is to think a bit ahead about navigation.
    • Click HERE for an example where Google site pages are used directly to present instructions for activities or reviews.

With Blogger :



 With Google Sites Page Comment Feature:

  • Google Sites does not have a flexible feedback feature. If a student shares work on a class webpage, peers and teacher can add comments at the bottom of the page at the Comment box. There is no threaded discussion option, so it is not possible to reply to a comment.
  • Students can share their projects on a webpage by creating a link or embedding ( a Google Doc, a Prezi, a Video, etc).
    • Click HERE for an example of a Project Page where students shared their work. In this case, comments are given on the application that holds the emagazines, and not on the Google Site page.
    • When creating a new webpage, make sure the Comment feature is on. Comment is a default setup, but if you need to add or change, click at the gear icon at the top right of the page, then Page Setup, so you will see this:

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 2.22.02 PM


With Blogger :

  • Blog Posts are ideal for student sharing and getting feedback. Students can be authors in a class blog as they are young and beginners, but ideally they should have their own blog. In this way they can share work and get feedback from peers and teacher. After feedback, students can review work and post again.
  • It is crucial that students always use LABELS to organize their work and allow easy retrieval.
  • Good quality comments are essential for effective feedback that supports revision of work. See Blog Comment Rubric. suggestion.



Google Sites Interface with Google Docs

  • Student collaborative work in groups  fits well in Google Docs, where comments can be added directly on highlighted sentences and words. Students can use color coding to indicate each member’s collaboration.
  • Use embedded Google Docs on a site’s page for a group or a project, or add links.
  • For embedded Docs, any changes to the document is immediately shown on the sites page, which acts as a window.
  • The purpose of embedding certain Google Docs on sites is to organize the work within the large framework of the site, which acts as a “portal”.
  • TUTORIALS: Check this screencast tutorials to add student collaborative work on Google Docs to a page


With Blogger :

  • Students can document their individual work and reflection in their personal blogs. Then they can respond to each other using the blog post comment feature. As there is Reply option, a nice conversation thread can occur.
  • Good quality comments are essential for effective feedback that supports revision of work. See Blog Comment Rubric. suggestion.



Google Sites Interface with Google Groups

  • See HERE an example of how a Google Group discussion forum can be embedded on a Google Sites page.
  • A Google Group discussion forum is based on one of the initial frameworks for this type of activity. Nowadays, social media has become more powerful in this area ( see Blogger).
  •  It does allow threaded discussions, meaning it is possible to reply to a post.
  •  Your Teacher Dashboard Classes are already a Google Group. So it is easy to insert the group on a Sites’ page.
  • First find the URL for your group:
    • Click on the Groups under our Google Apps options menu:
    • Then click on My Groups and select the group/classroom you want.
    • Copy the URL at the top.

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 2.42.58 PM

  • Now Insert the Google Group on your Site’s page:
    • Click the Edit button at the desired Google Site Page.
    • Click on Insert > Group
    • Paste the Group URL
    • Save


With Blogger :

  • Blog posts are essentially a discussion by nature, allowing feedback, reply and new posts.



Google Sites Interface with Google Docs

  • Google Sites does NOT operate with the Drop Box paradigm.
  • Instead, use Google Docs and teacher Dashboard to collect student work.
  • If you want to collect student final products for project showcase, then students can save work directly on a Google Site Project page.
  • See an example of a Project Page where students were independent adding work. Credit was given if work was posted on the page.

With Blogger:

  • Work can be handed-in directly as a blog post. In this way it is not necessary to check a separate spot.



Google Sites Navigation Link to Portfolio

  • You can add links directly from a Google Site Navigation to student online portfolios, which will be created on Blogger.
  • Just copy the URL for the student portfolio. New portfolios will always have the URL
  • Click HERE for instructions on how to Edit Site Layout ( instead og creating a navigation link to a page, you add the URL directly)

With Blogger:

  • Student blogs serve as their online portfolios. In this way, it is critical for students to get organized with appropriate labels for each blog post.


With Google Sites:

  • Very much like having activities pages,  you can create a menu of links where students choose where to start. The links would take students to different Google Sites Pages where differentiated activities can be performed.
  • Alternatively, you can just create a menu of links to Google Docs for differentiated activities. the Google Sites Page becomes the organizer and holder of all the links.

With Blogger: 

  • A single blog post with an activity can contain links to different layers of difficulty to be chosen by students.






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