So, I asked students in one of my paperless high school Latin classes to tell me how things were going for them. I wanted to know whether or not they felt like the tech we use in class was actually helping them. Here are a few of the responses. These are unedited and range from the top student in the class to a student facing a serious uphill climb marching into fourth quarter. They've all got something to say.
I think the paperless classroom is great. I like the blogs because I can keep everything straight knowing what I turned in and what I need to finish. I also like Pixton. It's very fun and easy to use.
One thing I definitely don't like is the Google Docs. They take too much time to work on I feel like because sometimes it deletes your work if another person is editing at the same time. They do work as far as putting work together for you to see, but for a class to use, it doesn't work out.
So all in all, I really like the idea of a paperless classroom; it makes doing work at home and in class much easier.
I love using blogger as a place to keep all my work in class. It makes organization and being able to access my work on another computer so much easier.
For the most part, I think I really like Pixton. It helps me get the translations in my head. I can guarantee that if any of those translations were to come up on an exam or something, I would remember them because of the comics. The only thing I don't like about it is that it freezes up too much. Now maybe it's just my computer or maybe it's not, I'm not entirely sure, but it definitely makes a six slide comic about two hours to make. I think if it could respond a little faster, the comics would be so much easier to make and not half as frustrating as they can be now.
The only thing I absolutely hate above all things computer-related is Google Docs. I seriously just want to murder it. Whenever we're all working on a document at the same time, it will suddenly refresh without saving my work and scroll me all the way back up to the top of the document. This makes work that should last maybe a half an hour tops take and hour and half! I think the problem might be that all of us can't work on it at once. I don't really know how much group work you could get accomplished that way but I really don't think Google Docs is working for us.
I think Blogger is a really good website to use and it's really easy to use. I like how it keeps everything organized. It is also very easy to find past assignments. It will be a nice portfolio after we graduate. Blogger sometimes doesn’t load at school though. It only works at my house.
I like Pixton but I think it is only effective for short translations. If the paragraph is really long, I find Pixton to be tedious . Plus if the text is really long, it takes up a lot of space on the panel, leaving no room for the animation.
Google Docs does have potential but it is kind of annoying right now. Our group for the radio show is actually using it to write the script .
I love Whitaker's Words [an online Latin-English dictionary]. I find it very resourceful! I don’t even use other dictionaries anymore.
The use of the computer helps very much in Latin class. In most classes we just listen to the teacher talk for 40 minutes, so most of the information doesn't sink in. In Latin we learn with interactive programs, such as Pixton and Blogger. Learning is much easier and more fun when there is visual aids and class participation included. Also we do many interesting and different projects about once every two weeks. Each project is unique and fun, and range from making a Google Doc, to making your own radio show. These projects are much more entertaining and productive then doing worksheets and getting lectures every class. The only downside to the computer is the technical issues, like when blogger is down, or if you have a hardware issue. Overall I enjoy the use of the computer in class and I think I have learned a great deal more because it.