The time has come do decide how paperless our school should be. Are .pdf files really going to last? Am I going to be able to access them when I need to? Am I just going to feel weird teaching without a paper book in hand? I really don’t know. It seems like it should save a lot of physical space and be a quite a bit cheaper. Not only because downloads tend to be a few dollars less up front, but it would all be reusable for Lars in a couple years. We have a desktop, a laptop and an iPad at our fingertips. Still, it’s hard to make the jump.
Several of the curriculums I am looking at for next year are already available for download. Story of the World and the Activity Guide can be bought in pdf. SOTW is strictly a reading book so that’s pretty straight forward. The Activity Guide is my resource for ordering library books, again just for reading, and we usually do the review questions orally, then the Student Pages can be easily printed from the desktop (unless of course someone decides to buy me a wireless printer, hint hint) in duplicate if needed. I’m already eyeballing Intellego unit studies for science, and those are only available for download or cd. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like at this time I can open links from the iPad, but with a little creativity we can fill out the worksheets on it. Though it looks like they can’t be done on a regular computer. And one of the math programs I was looking at, Math Mammoth, is also available in a pdf version. After doing a bit of research I’ve found that by using DropBox (which I already use) it’s easy to put the pdf’s on the iPad, and if by opening them in a program called Notability (99 cents from iTunes) it becomes a workbook on the iPad. Yep, you can seriously just write in the answers on the screen. I am still not 100% on Mammoth though. The other option is Singapore which by contrast uses 6 paper books. The spelling and language arts programs I am looking at are still paper only. And handwriting will probably need to be done on actual paper as well. There some nice tracing apps Lars uses, and Doodle Buddy for freehand, but I just don’t think even with the stylus we can get away from dead trees completely.
What to do? What to do?