At this point, my Global Tech class is paper-free. I may have them do a little figuring of ideas on scrap paper from time to time, but for the most part, students do most everything on Google Docs, or our NING. Below is a breakdown of the transitions:
Old Way /Recent / Current
Journal, learning log /Blogger /Ning threads
Daily Assignments, book /N/A /Google Docs
Written Projects/ Word,Excel / Integrating Word,Excel,Google Docs
Lecture / Peer discovery /Online learning
Quizzes/ N/A /Google Forms
Small Group Work / Wikis /Google Docs & Ning
Verbal Instructions / Emailed inst. /Ning posts
Written corrections/ N/A /Live comments on documents
The catch is simple: You have to manage a LOT more digital material. It is changing how I use time. I need an hour working in my Docs inbox to manage all of the assignments the students share with me. It is about the same amount of time I may have spent looking at papers, but it seems somehow more tedious, because it is different than how I have done things for the past decade.
A plus that has recently occurred to me is the idea that there is NEVER anything to lose. It’s all in my folder, somewhere. Might be difficult to find, but I know it’s there somewhere.