A common complaint amongst teachers is the amount of time spent on administration. Before, we examine a solution for that though, let’s be clear: sometimes tech can be the cause of that, by adding to teachers’ workload, rather than reducing it.
We’ve all been there: clicking endless objectives on the online tracking system, or entering data into a million little drop down menus on a report, or trying to organise all of our students’ work into folders.
Unsurprisingly, this affects students’ learning as well as teachers’ productivity. When implemented carefully though, technology can greatly improve efficiency. It can streamline daily administration jobs, thereby giving teachers more time for the important stuff- like teaching!
Students can benefit significantly from more efficient classrooms. The obvious advantage is that they get more time and attention from teachers, who now have more time to engage with their students in a meaningful manner.
For tech to really reduce workload for teachers, it needs to fit into the natural flow of the teacher’s routine. To be truly efficient. Equally, teachers should question existing methods and tools that they use for daily jobs in the classroom.
Let’s take paper workbooks as an example: they have been the cornerstone of schools for years. It is in these books that students around the world have progressed over decades. Let’s face it, they aren’t going away any time soon. BUT…what if they could be supplemented by digital workbooks, which could sit side by side their paper counter parts, like brothers (or sisters) in arms, as a way for students to demonstrate their learning.
Jut think about it…paper workbooks cannot play multimedia, they run out of space; they are bulky, not to mention expensive. Is it that crazy to think that one day, schools may move away from them?
One of the main arguments not to do so will be from parents or teachers who point to the importance of developing the fine motor skills neccesary for handwriting with a pen, but this skill can be practised just as well by using one of the many stylus pens on the market for each tablet. In fact, when you think about it, there really isn’t much that paper books offer, that a paperless book cannot.
On the flip side: The advantages of digital workbooks goes on and on. Just a few examples include easier access for parents, better organised work., and more opportunities for collaboration.
The real value, though comes with the assigning of work and feedback process.This is a major way that paperless workbooks can save teachers time. I’m astonished that I still see hardworking, well-meaning teachers queue for the photocopier, to then cut and stick resources into a mountain of books.
Student’s then complete the work within their lesson and teachers collect the mountain of books back in to painstakingly handwrite in each one. Would you ever see that type of inneficiency in other work settings?
With Springpad, assignments are created seamlessly and verbally recorded feedback is provided for individual pieces of work, a group or for the whole class in seconds.
It might be clear now, which side of the argument that I am on, but if you’re still sceptical about digital workbooks why not try for yourself? Get in touch at Springpad.app. It’s completety FREE for teachers,