In 2016, when we started our first year of Distance Education, we had no idea of the path that we would be on with both the school, the teachers, our children and our travels. We didn’t know that: 1. we would be facing a fourth year on the road 2. Essentially considered homeless, and yet we are happy little vegemite’s all the same.
Well, this year we are schooling the same, but with a huge difference. A difference that we hope can be rolled out to every travelling family – well actually – to any child enrolled in DE. While we understand that the equipment we are using is not in the affordability range of everyone, it can be done with cheaper equipment that works just as efficiently.
The difference is: We have gone PAPERLESS!
Yes, no more books, paper, posting envelopes and so on….nope we don’t have any of those issues any longer, and the good news is that it doesn’t increase our need for internet. The kids do not need to be plugged into the internet to do their school work – just to down load it and to return it.
The mantra in our caravan, and with our school teachers is: “If it can be printed it can be emailed.” So, how does this all work? I know, this is the burning question, and one we are all too happy to answer.
1. The kids have iPad Pro’s and an Apple pencil.
Remember, you can use Samsung and other tablets that work with a pen/pencil type stylus. We have found that the fat rubber tipped styluses do not work that well for handwriting.
2. The Notability App on their iPad.
This app is available for android as well. It is easy to use and allows you to cut and past – so the kids can still cut out work and past into another part of their worksheet. It allows you to use different colours, highlighters, choose the thickness of your pencil and even add audio to the document.
3. The teachers upload all the work into Google Drive
The kids school email accounts are attached to Google Drive. The work is transferred to the Notability app and put into the subject area folders. Once the work is completed, they transfer the work back to Google Drive and place in a completed folder. The teachers access the work, mark it and the kids can see this instantly. Feedback is nearly instant – just like at traditional brick and mortar school!!
We have already found a huge improvement in the school work engagement rate of our youngest. She can access her work at any time, there is no set up and pack up, and we have reduced the amount of weight we were carrying in school work.