When Kelly Turcotte’s grade 5 class was introduced to 1:1 iPads, she saw more than a solution to lost paper, she saw the potential to organize her classroom while engaging her students along the way.

Finding a Shorter Path to Better Learning

One of Kelly’s biggest teaching philosophies is to create a learning environment that sets her students up for real life. To help achieve this, she encourages her students to collaborate with each other to solve problems by finding shortcuts.

Students working together using iPads
I love watching [my students] collaborate and celebrate each other’s talents, Kelly explains. I love when they make new connections — ones I’d never thought of.

It is a really fun and easy way to turn your work in. So you don’t have to go looking for your work everyday.— Megan, Fifth Grade Student

When Kelly’s school went 1:1 with iPads, she was excited to find a shortcut that would enrich her students’ classroom experience even more. Good technology has given me a whole new area with which to share learning with my students, she explains. [It has] allowed me to take them far beyond the four walls of my classroom.

To optimize her classroom’s newfound technology, Kelly looked for apps that were simple to grasp and applicable for a variety of lessons. To get a bigger bang for her buck, she also wanted technology that worked with every subject she taught to keep all of her classwork organized in one place throughout the school year.

Showbie allows every student in my room to stay organized, be engaged and participate in all lessons.

When she was introduced to Showbie, her and her co-teacher Cameron were impressed by the number of apps and assignments that were compatible with its paperless workflow, and even more so by how their students responded to it.

Showbie allows every student in my room to stay organized, be engaged and participate in all lessons. I’m able to go deeper in what I teach, and students are able to reach deeper levels of comprehension because they are able to use a wide variety of methods to show what they know.

I think Showbie is awesome because it is better than losing your papers and other stuff in locker or at home or backpacks.— Max, Fifth Grade Student

Students engaged in self-guided learning
With Showbie, everyone is able to choose their medium and share it out. My instruction is far more diverse and students are now mastering apps and programs. This never could have happened with notebook or construction paper.

The Pros of Going Paperless

In addition to keeping her classroom organized, Kelly is continually surprised by the results of removing paper. “We have been 95% paperless this year, and we haven’t had a single missing assignment for two years — from fifth graders!” She explains. “I also don’t have kids with messy backpacks or lockers. There are no lost assignments or no extra copies. Even the least organized student can’t help but be organized.”

We have been 95% paperless this year, and we haven’t had a single missing assignment for two years—from fifth graders!

The stress of worrying about lost assignments or homework is something of the past for Kelly’s students. They now receive electronic notifications when they get assignments or when their assignments are graded, all without worrying about handouts or losing graded papers on the way home. Parents also appreciate the fact that they can simply log into their child’s Showbie account to view their progress. Kelly also notes the time she saves:

Your papers don’t get lost and you know where all your assignments are.– Lexi, Fifth Grade Student

My feedback is way faster! I open the document, grade it, leave my comment and it is done. Previously, I would wait to complete everyone’s formative assessment before returning them. [My students] love getting notifications of when we grade something or add a new assignment.

Replacing Paper with Something Powerful

Kelly is proud to say that integrating technology in her 1:1 classroom with Showbie has yielded positive results. Rather than worry about things she can’t control, she’s able to devote more time to developing her students’ learning while interacting with them in an environment free from the threat of dogs eating homework, water-stained assignments and other colourful excuses for lost paper.

It is as natural for me as pencils and paper were when we were in school.

Kelly's student incorporate their iPads with classroom activities
At this point for me, integrating technology isn’t something I incorporate. It is as natural for me as pencils and paper were when we were in school. It is one more tool that engages our students and allows them more ways to express themselves.

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Kelly Turcotte

Fifth Grade Teacher

Kelly teaches the 5th grade at Inman School in Kansas. She has been a 1:1 iPad teacher for over two years and is active in the Ed Tech community.

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