Instructional Acceleration

Acceleration is the rate of change in the rate of change. This entire school year has been a year for embracing change. Anyone in this profession for the long-haul had better get used to change, and to an ever increasing rate of change in the rate of change. Prepare for instructional acceleration.

During this school year, we transitioned a lot of student work to Google Classroom. We had students do many of their lab reports in Classroom, as well as Close Reads, some modeling, and other assorted course work. We have pledged to make as much of the class paperless as possible next year. Students will “join” our Classrooms on day 1 next year, and there they will find digital versions of all of the important documents for the class. This move to paperless has allowed me to give away a four-drawer file cabinet, leaving behind its two-drawer room mate. More importantly, students are becoming proficient at working in a paperless world – sharing data and blending media sources.

“First Fives”, which were prompts posted on this website to start class each day, have gone away and are being replaced by a Learning Journal kept in Classroom.

Last year we began grading digital assignments in Classroom, but this year we extended that with the use of Doctopus and Goobric. It was a real paradigm shift to have no papers to hand back in class, and to have students submit corrections electronically. While it required some adjustments on my part, most students were happy for the changes.

If I had a wish for Classroom right now, it would be that I would be able to deliver summative assessments there as well. Most of the paper remaining in that two-drawer file cabinet are quizzes and tests that are still given on paper. I will be working over the summer to set up some assessments in TCExam on this server, to see if it is a viable tool for delivering paperless assessment in my Chromebook-equipped classroom.

I think that I have anywhere from one to three years left in my teaching career. I’m committed to enjoying the remaining time with my students, and to continue to change with the rapidly changing state of the profession.


Published by

Andy Allan

I am the owner-developer of and a science teacher at El Diamante High School in Visalia, CA.