Consider the task of driving around a semi-unfamiliar city. Yes, perhaps you can get from Point A to Point B, but you feel fairly certain you’re making some circles. And the very idea that there is a better route is intimidating requires more mental energy that just isn’t available.
Then, it happens. One day there is a little extra time and you’re feeling a bit cheeky. Let’s live on the edge and see where this side street shoots me out on the main drag.
Eureka! There IS “a better way!”
Envision that through the lens of your instructional time, and consider these five concepts:
1 ---> Find Your Sphere: Inspiration and collaboration is all around us, if you invest some time to find your people. Social media of any kind, websites like Slides Mania and Open Education Resources. Just as many of your students are, we are energized with connections and relationships, as long as they occur in a style that meets our needs.
2---> Leverage Your school’s Learning Management System (Canvas, Schoology, Google Classroom) - harnessing what these can do for your approach to instruction can be a game-changer. As the system becomes your student-facing lesson plan, layer on the next concept. ⬇️
3 ---> Automate What You Can: Online systems will auto-assess your students’ knowledge so you can target instruction. Quizlet, Kahoot, Quizizz, GimKit, Google Forms in Quiz Mode, Flubaroo. They’re out there, and chances are another educator active on that platform can join your sphere.
A quote from James Clear’s “Atomic Habits:”
4 ---> Tackle the Little Things: Find yourself sending the same or very similar email messages? Gmail will save it for you as a template. How do I do that?
Love your bookmark bar, but need more space? All the bar needs is an icon - the words can be removed. How do I do that?
Nine easy access links in just a small bit of screen real estate!
5 ---> Use Mote for Feedback: For #5, we’re going to filter our intent to one specific tool.
One of the most valuable aspects of being an educator is giving students meaningful and timely feedback on their learning process. In a tweak of irony, one of the most time-consuming tasks is giving feedback! See the dilemma here?
Consider looking into Mote. Mote integrates with a wide variety of systems including Google and enables teachers to leave audio messages for students.
The common thread 🧵is that capturing the power of these time-savers takes . . . .yes, TIME, as well as the aforementioned cheekiness, both of which may be in short supply these days. It will be worth it to “spring clean” your habits and find a more efficient route to your goal!
Brenda Calhoun is an Educational Technology Specialist with Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8. She interacts with a wide variety of teachers and works toward providing reasonable solutions to time-related challenges.