By: Matt Rhoads, Ed.D
Dr. Matt Rhoads is a Tech and Instructional Leader and Innovator with hands in Adult Ed, K-12, and Higher Education. He is the author of several books and is the host of Navigating Education – The Podcast.
Paper tutoring is one of the fastest growing online academic support and tutoring platforms. Students are given a link or single sign on option through their app to then access a tutor, who is a live person, to then ask a question related to their assignment, problem, or task for immediate and 24/7 support. Additionally, it is an essay review service for students. Students can submit their papers directly to Paper to receive feedback within 24 hours. Outside of this post, to learn more about Paper tutoring you can access their website at www.paper.co.
The purpose of this post is to demonstrate a number of examples of how to add Paper into your classroom routines and instruction so it can become a widely utilized academic support tool for your students. Also, by incorporating these strategies mentioned in this post, it will help you differentiate and personalize instruction for your students and it will give you an option for supporting all of your students at a given time or when you are not available.
Adding Paper Tutoring to all Assignments/Tasks on Google Classroom
On each assignment and task created in Google Classroom, add a link with Paper as an option students can click on. Write a short directive to students stating they can use Paper on this assignment/task for additional support, especially during asynchronous independent practice.
For each assignment on Google Classroom, you can directly place a hyperlink within an assignment tab for Paper. In the assignment description, you can prompt students to use Paper. For assessments, this can also be an option as well for additional support since Paper uses the socratic method to help students, which means they will not directly give an answer to the student.
Building Routines with Paper Tutoring
First, have Paper listed within your Class Information section of your Google Classroom (next to your Zoom link). Include the direct link, steps to logging in, and by providing a video of how to access Paper and use its basic functions. Remember, please notify your students that Paper can be utilized in English and Spanish.
Next, provide a video of how your students can use Paper in your class. You can use Loom and Screencastify to record. Add these videos to your Paper material within your class materials tab. Below are a few short examples of how you can show your students how to use Paper. It will require time and scaffolds to build these routines into class. Always have the videos available in addition to incorporating activities where students will need to use Paper.
Embedding Paper within Assignments/Tasks + Follow Up
To increase engagement using Paper, within the guided practice portion of your lesson, have your students connect with a tutor to complete a practice problem/task. Then, require students to follow up and discuss how they interacted with the tutor in the form of a reflection. This can be a hyperlink directly on a slide, document, etc for students to access Paper. The reflection can be a Google Form, response to a Pear Deck, a 30 second Flipgrid, a written reflection etc. It can be very short because the goal is to create follow through and reflection based on the students interaction with the tutor and how they navigated the question they were working with.
Below is an example using it with Google Slides + Pear Deck. Show ONE slide where students can select the problem and click on a hyperlink to access Paper. Then, include an interactive Pear Deck slide where they can work on the problem and then reflect on their time with the tutor. The initial sequence with the first slide is about one minute, which gives them time to access Paper and choose a problem. Then, give students about five minutes to work on a problem with a tutor. For students that finish earlier, have them complete the second problem for additional practice.
For general assignments on Google Classroom, you can create hyperlinks directly to Paper. You can require students to complete at least one problem with paper. Here’s an example of having students complete a problem with Paper. For each assignment/task, this can be done only once within a lesson.
Overall, Paper is best suited to be utilized during guided practice and independent practice. During guided practice, ensure there’s follow up for a student to discuss their time with the tutor, their thinking process, etc. Then, for independent practice, always have it available for your students. Have it on Google Classroom and embedded directly within all of your assignments. Check student progress on Classroom Relay as well as on the Paper Teacher Dashboard to review student activity.
Using Paper with Classroom Relay, Blocksi, or GoGuardian
When you are on Classroom Relay, Blocksi, or GoGuardian, it allows you to see your students screens and communicate with them while they are on a Chromebook, you can directly send a student a link to Paper and a short message. Within the short message, you can ask the student to complete a problem on Paper they are working on. This is an important strategy as you can see when students are struggling on these platforms and then make the decision on whether to direct them straight to a Paper Tutor.
Here are the Steps – Classroom Relay (Note: For each platform its very similar)
First, click on your class and ensure it’s active. Once the class is active, you will see students populate the right hand side. You can view their screens, record their screens, and send them direct messages.
Then, you can click on the student’s name. When you click on their name, you can send a message. Go all the way down and click on a custom message.
Once, you click on the custom message, you can write the hyperlink directly into chat and ask the student to access Paper. You can also direct them to work on a specific problem on their current assignment/task.
After you send the student a message, you can then monitor the students screen to ensure they are working directly with the tutor on Paper.
Other Uses with Classroom Relay, Blocksi, or GoGuardian to Increase Student Engagement on Paper
There are a few other uses of this technique with Classroom Relay, GoGuardian, or Blocksi to create more engagement with Paper. Special Education teachers can use this technique during Academic Success and co-teaching scenarios to support students. You can be doing this for many students at once, which allows for more equitable time being spent with students who need support. Last, this same technique can be utilized during advisory where students are working independently on a task. An advisory teacher can use this technique to have students work with a tutor when they are stuck.