Working 57.5 hours a week on average, a teacher is more likely to work overtime than staff in any other industry. Without productivity tools for marking and lesson preparation, just 20 of these hours are spent teaching.
There’s no doubt that teachers in the UK do a fantastic job, and that teachers are keener than anyone to cut down on unnecessary admin and paperwork – with a lack of time one of the biggest frustrations facing the profession today.
Enhancing what teachers are already doing on a day-to-day basis, technology could hold the answer – helping to support teachers by solving their problems in new and innovative ways. However, technology changes quickly, so, what are the latest trends in educational productivity tools when it comes to reducing the time teachers spend marking, while at the same keeping pupils interested and engaged?
1. Personalised learning
You know that every pupil learns a little differently. With personalised learning shown to motivate children into becoming investors in their own education, this approach is becoming increasingly popular here in the UK.
Empowering such pupil-centred learning, technology can be used to set different questions for different pupils, or groups of pupils, depending on their ability, learning style, or project. With ClassFlow, for example, you can comfortably customise lesson content, with pupils able to start at the level most appropriate to them. You can even assign individual tasks and assessments.
Tech-enabled worksheets and dashboards can also be used to analyse student errors and identify gaps in understanding; helping teachers to support both struggling and gifted pupils alike. There is also a wide range of apps available to help teachers assess pupils depending on their personal interests, abilities, and goals.
2. Ease and speed of assessment
Teacher productivity tools facilitate active participation by pupils and instant assessment by teachers, allowing you to mark and collate responses at the moment of learning, in real-time. A key benefit being that teachers can immediately identify and address gaps in learning, tailoring the lesson to the real needs of each pupil.
Some apps use a smartphone to scan and score tests, and more comprehensive platforms such as ClassFlow allow teachers to score, review progress, and analyse results quickly and easily.
When it comes to the future of technology it’s about the enhancement, not replacement, of more traditional teaching methods. You undoubtedly have a bank of questions and assessments that you have been using successfully for years and you don’t need technology telling you how or what you should be teaching.
The good news is that in adopting technology into your lessons, this knowledge doesn’t need to be replaced. Instead, the best tools help you to incorporate your existing resources into your digital lessons, while at the same time, providing access to a new bank of available questions, resources, and advice on setting questions for assessment.
For more on how technology can aid learning and assessment, read the article.
3. Variety of assessment methods and lesson content
Teacher productivity apps and tools are not just suitable for multiple choice questions. Instead, they can be used to create a broad range of interactive question types, including text, multiple choice, creative response, equation, maths, true/false, sort in order. There are also some new question types in ClassFlow that deviate from the more traditional question types like Label & Image, Cloze Procedure (fill in the blank), Choice Matrix and matching. You can also control pacing and progress through an assessment by setting questions at different levels of difficulty.
What’s more, offering a plethora of resources and online content that can be used to supplement lessons, homework and revision, technology provides pupils with access to the very latest information and learning materials.
4. Enhance pupil engagement
Of course, it’s not just about marking and assessment. Teacher productivity resources, tools and apps also help to engage pupils and facilitate effective teaching.
Students grow up surrounded by technology, at home and in the classroom, so, by incorporating technology into lessons, they learn the way they do at home, helping teachers to stay on the same wavelength as their pupils while fostering collaborative learning, and delivering more impactful lessons.
5. Protect your pupils and your reputation
While technology has the potential to provide significant educational benefits, it doesn’t come without its share of risks. There are lots of teacher productivity resources out there to help teachers and pupils succeed, but not all of them are very good.
Pupils today know how to use technology but not necessarily for learning. Schools need to help pupils to filter the vast amount of information online and identify what is valid, credible and relevant for learning.
There is also a need to better teach pupils to be safe online. If content that can potentially be ‘uncomfortable’ is simply blocked en masse, pupils may fail to apply that responsibly outside of the school environment.
Also, while online resources such as Wikipedia have their place, they are often incorrect and unsuitable for young children. So, to protect your pupils and your credibility, it’s vital that any resources you use are designed for the classroom.
Created with teachers in mind, platforms such as ClassFlow are simple to use and easy to understand, even for non-tech savvy teachers. Making your life easier, with no unnecessary bells and whistles, ClassFlow is a modern enablement tool, freeing you up to get on with what you do best – teaching your pupils.
Request a free demo today for an introduction into what the ActivPanel and ClassFlow can bring to your classroom.