When we discuss technology, we are referring not only to programs that students can use but also to programs that help teachers do their jobs behind-the-scenes more quickly and efficiently.
Organization is extremely important for teachers. When they have to coordinate and provide information or collaborate with a group, technology can help. Programs such as GoogleDocs and online grading platforms ensure that teachers are always viewing the most up-to-date materials. Gone are the days of sending documents through email and hoping to have the most recent materials available. Online documentation ensures that all who have access to a document are viewing the most up-to-date version.
Software updates also keep programs current. Teachers are often prompted to update software so that they can use the latest versions of technology and are informed about the additional benefits of each update.
The information that students view is also current. When students participate in an online activity, teachers can be assured that the information students are reading is relevant and recent.
Another challenge teachers face is a lack of physical space. The classroom has limited space to store papers, textbooks, school supplies, and other important educational materials. Technology can help cut down on the amount of physical space needed for grades, papers, home-school communication, and more. Teachers can use email, chat, class websites, and other digital learning platforms instead of paper letters or flyers to provide parents and guardians with information on assignments, grades, and school events.
If students use digital textbooks, this eliminates the need for textbook storage in the classroom. Teachers can also use digital music or videos instead of physical DVDs or CDs. Digital materials free up physical space in the classroom and that space can be used in other ways – such as active learning opportunities.
Technology also provides a variety of program options for educators to streamline their teaching. There are programs for everything, from grading and time management to lesson planning and teaching. If teachers identify the areas where they spend the most time, there is likely a technological solution to help them streamline that process and create a more effective classroom.
For example, The Productivity Roundtable discussion on the Truth for Teachers podcasts provides concrete examples of hacks, tips, and tricks for digital organization and saving time with tech. The teachers in this podcast share specific programs that help streamline their processes and save space in their classrooms.