Sunday, March 8, 2015

AVID Can Happen in the Paperless Classroom

When you first look at the basic tenets of AVID it seems incompatible with the paperless classroom.  The obstacles are easily overcome, however, with a little creativity and the right software.  First of all, AVID's cornerstone is student organization.  Most solutions for this are automatically answered with today's learning management systems.  We use Schoology in our district and when I give assignments to my students it automatically shows up in the Schoology calendar.  This means students can easily see the week at a glance when they login.  They can either login to see the calendar of assignments or they can transfer the data to their own device.  Either way, the classes assignments, events, and any other information I want them to know are accessible from wherever they are.  The next obstacle is interacting with the text.  This is a basic AVID principle that requires students to underline, circle, highlight and make margin notes when reading an assigned text.  This is easily accomplished with the free app Adobe Reader.  I assign a document in Schoology and they can choose to open the assignment in a different app.  If I assign it in the .PDF format and they open it in Adobe, they can use the tools available to interact quickly and easily.  Once they are finished they can easily turn the document to Schoology with the "open in another app" function.  This also works with graphic organizers or anything else you can put into a PDF.  The iPads also work well for Cornell notes, Socratic seminars and obviously having students conduct research. AVID and the paperless classroom aren't incompatible at all. In fact, I think they were made for each other.