They say the best teachers thrive in classrooms. The same way pilots fly better when they’re constantly up in the air. Like most skills, developing teaching techniques take years of honing and dedication. Hours and hours of actual face time with students and varying levels of day-to-day interactions. But with practice and unwavering will for excellence, teachers can achieve anything. Even find ways to teach themselves how to be better every day.
For teachers to do what they do best, they need to be physically present. Being present allows them to connect meaningfully with students. However, times are different now. With the onset of the pandemic, we’re relying more on technology to be the go-between in almost everything. More and more parents prefer to have their child learn from home. Distance learning is something not all teachers are prepared for. For those who excel in motivating and inspiring learners in-person, along with earning their trust, can they still deliver the same level of teaching through a computer screen?
How Learners Are Changing
With the ongoing pandemic and technological disruptions happening across industries, everyone is impacted. Schools have changed, so have students. For the most part, technology is fueling detrimental shifts in the educational sector. Learning is no longer an option but an inescapable eventuality.
The time we spend online maximizes our susceptibility to a wide range of general information. The more we increase our screen time, the more chances we have of coming across some new form of knowledge. Anything that we want to know, or even those we are not too keen on knowing, is available and accessible to us, whenever, wherever we are.
The Internet is an endless stream of how-to and quick guides. It’s almost impossible not to learn a thing or two anytime you open an app. When kids reach for smartphones or open a laptop, they are already instinctively learning; navigating through the interface, and finding their way around Internet-connected devices. They adapt much quicker and move naturally around tech because they grew up with it.
How Tech Can Help Teachers Focus on Teaching
Digital natives will make up the majority of the future student body. Teachers need to streamline their teaching styles and lesson goals with the new learning conditions. With digitization ramping up, there are a few tools teachers can get behind in immediately as they transition from physical to remote teaching. They can combine what they know by heart and enhance them with helpful and efficient support tools. For teachers to thrive in digital classrooms, they must use technology to their advantage. Here are a few technologies they can start with:
Communicating with parents and students
Motivating students to participate in actual classrooms is already a huge challenge on its own. Engaging them from remote locations and holding their attention is not at all easy. Ideally, parents should pro-actively oversee the day-to-day assignments and be equally committed to their child’s education. A steady flow of communication is essential.
Teachers need reliable and efficient tools to convey their message clearly and also be able to pull up previous conversations when necessary. Office email solutions with backup features can help them stay on top of things that have been previously agreed on and goals that have yet to be fulfilled.
Planning and scheduling
Some teachers enjoy preparing lesson plans by hand. Though it does have its own merits, it also presents a lot of disadvantages for those who have children or pets at home. Paper-based plans have the unfortunate tendency of getting chewed on or spit at. Rewriting them on another paper is always an option. But it’s precious time that could’ve been spent on something less redundant and more enjoyable. Also, there’s a hard limit to the number of pages we can write.
Whether we like it or not, hands tire out eventually. Scheduling and planning months instead of weeks ahead is something you can easily do by downloading lesson plan apps. The best ones are easy to install and can sync on your laptop and phone.
Auditing is necessary for educational institutions. It’s a critical errand for teachers to perform daily. Implementing attendance tracking systems in place can help both schools and teachers verify a student’s level of participation and commitment to any given class.
Luckily, there are tons of applications to choose from that can do record-keeping for teachers with customization for better experience. By doing away with seemingly minor but equally valuable tasks with the use of available tech, teachers will be able to free up some time for themselves and focus on actual teaching in any learning environment.