Teachers often find themselves spending more time on the job than they do with their families. This is a shame because teaching can be an extremely rewarding profession. When it comes to making the most out of your day, there are so many tools that you could use to make your life easier — both at work and at home. In this article, I’ll cover some of my favorite ways that technology can help reclaim teachers’ time during the school year!
1. Paperless Grading
A great way to make grading easier is by using a paperless system for assigning grades, storing student work, and providing feedback. There are many different platforms available that can help you do this — from Google Classroom and Evernote to grade books like Edmodo’s Grade Book or Blackboard Learn Essentials.
Another thing I love about these tools is how easy it makes it to provide timely feedback on students’ work without sacrificing valuable time during class — especially if they’re working in groups. You could also use them as an assessment tool with your students at the end of each unit so you know exactly what they’ve mastered in all content areas!
2. Use technology to create a lesson plan
Whether you’re planning for next week or for an entire year, there are plenty of great tools available to help you with your planning. I love using Google Calendar or Outlook on my computer — but there are also mobile versions for those who prefer to stay connected in that way.
Google Classroom (Amazon link) is a free service offered by the company, and it allows teachers to assign work as well as provide individual feedback along the way.
With Google Classroom, you can schedule posts in advance and have them appear to students on the day you wish.
What if you need more options? Tools like Planbook make it easy for educators to combine calendars from multiple sources into one place so they’re less likely to misplace things throughout the day.
You can even use a Google Sheet to plan out your content on a weekly or monthly basis.
With all of the available tools, there’s no need for paper planners, cluttered notebooks, or bulky binders to pack around. With digital tools, your plans are available to you anytime, anywhere.
Do More with Google Classroom
Do More with Google Classroom is the guidebook teachers have always needed about this digital tool that millions around the world are using.
3. Utilize Google Classroom for assignments and quizzes
Google Classroom has become one of the most popular learning management platforms in education. It’s easy to use and integrates well with other Google Education tools.
You can use tools like Google Classroom to provide individual feedback along the way.
For example, you could ask students about an assignment’s relevance in one comment, give them feedback on their work during another comment, and grade their assignments when they’re finished at yet another time.
It makes sense for educators with hectic schedules because it provides more options without carrying home stack of paper and can provide nearly immediate feedback while students are working, exactly when they need it most.
4. Take full advantage of one to one computing classrooms
As we enter the post-COVID19 world, many of our schools now have computers available for every student.
Now more than ever, teachers have the tools they need in their classrooms to become more efficient, engage with students more often, and lower their amount of work time.
Teachers are already finding ways to make the most of these classrooms.
Many teachers tell stories about how they can grade papers in a fraction of the time it would have taken them otherwise, or work with students one-on-one without having to pull out materials from their desk and hope that no other student walks over.
They also describe using computers for interactive lessons as well as more hands-on activities like coding and robotics, both in individualized groups during class time and whole-group projects.
In order to take full advantage of this new technology in our schools, we need professionals who understand what these tools do best so we can help every teacher find solutions that match their needs. This is where professional development comes into play (more on that soon).
5. Make use of Internet resources
With the advent of social media, more teachers are finding high-quality resources created by other educators than ever before.
As teachers find great tools and resources, they share them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms.
Many teachers curate these resources on their own sites or on Pinterest.
We also must remember the importance of community and foster relationships with other educators through Twitter chats, Facebook groups, and other modern web-based platforms.
I have found my own network to be a valuable resource for solving problems and getting feedback from other teachers across the country while still being able to interact with staff members at school.
While these tips will help you get started with more technology in your classroom, there’s so much more out there to learn.
With a few simple technology tools, you can get back so much of your valuable time and spend more time with your students and, perhaps more importantly, your families.
Remember, technology is not your enemy. It is a tool to be leveraged to make your life easier and to provide new opportunities for students.
Dip your feet in the technology waters. It’s well worth it.
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