By Scott Gotreau, Director of Education Technology, Diocese of Orange     3/20/2018

Through the years it seems as though more and more has been piled on the plates of teachers. From planning and grading to yard duty and testing, it seems that teachers are doing more than ever. It’s no wonder teacher burnout rates are so high. The good news is there is hope in the form of technology.

While many teachers see technology integration as “just one more thing” added on top of everything they are already doing, the truth is technology, when used effectively, can actually ease the burdens faced by teachers. Learning management systems (LMS), such as Schoology and Canvas, can simplify workflow and management of student assignments. Adaptive programs, such as STAR and IXL, can provide immediate feedback on student mastery as well as assist in grouping students, all without having to grade any assignments. For those teachers who love grading papers, this will come as unwelcome news, but for those who prefer to spend their time elsewhere, adaptive programs provide a great opportunity for obtaining data to use in planning instruction. Here are a few tricks to save time and become even more effective in supporting learning for all of your students.

  • Limit Grading – Use adaptive technology to grade and provide reports for you. This can allow you to grade only those few critical assignments rather than daily work. Consider adaptive programs in place of traditional homework.
  • Allow Technology to Help Differentiate – Don’t reinvent the wheel. Most adaptive programs will help differentiate for you by placing students in instructional groups for a particular skill. Some will even prescribe assignments for students to complete based on where they are in understanding the concept.
  • Collect Virtual Assignments – Use an LMS to manage how students turn in their work. You won’t feel buried in paperwork.

Simplifying your daily life as a teacher will offer more time to work directly with students to provide the appropriate support for their academic success. For more information about the process of making teaching more “doable,” refer to the blog article from the Christensen Institute.