How to Immediately be More Productive with Technology Tools in your ClassroomJul 19, 2022
As teachers, we just have WAY too much to do! It is unreasonable and there is no way to get it all done. So, we need to find tips and hacks to help us use our time to the best of our ability and make sure that we protect our time when we aren’t working so that we can have time for things we actually enjoy doing.
1. Get organized with a planner
You can use an online planner like in Googdnotes and on an iPad and such, but that is still pretty fancy.
I made myself a calendar in Google Docs and just kept track of what we were doing in each class with a quick line about the plan. It wasn’t like a full lesson plan of anything, but enough to tell me what I needed to prep and do for that day.
2. Use Google Drive to keep your files in one place
I LOVE using Google Drive to organize all of my lesson supplies! No more file cabinets or binders or anything like that. (I think I have some folders with printed copies of short stories, but that is it!) Everything is in Google Drive. And the way I organize it is by class or grade level, then by unit, and then by lesson.
Another thing I love about Google Drive is that I link to things from my Google Doc of lesson plans and it's all in one place. I know exactly where everything is so I am not digging around everywhere trying to find anything!
If you are looking for a more in-depth guide to organizing your Google Drive, check out my Blog Post here:
3. Create a class website to post homework, announcements, and photos
Most schools have an LMS like Google Classroom, Canvas, SeeSaw, Moodle, Blackboard, or whatever else is out there, so this may be something you are already doing, but could also do more of.
What I mean is that most of the time we think of these as assignment holders. We create an assignment, assign it to students, they submit it, and we give them feedback.
But you can also do so much more with these programs. Take a look at all the features and take some time to play with them. It could be a great place to have a calendar of important dates or announcements for parents to see, or a place for resources for students for things like homework help or extension activities, or just calming strategies.
Having all of this in one place not only makes it easier on you, but also on your students and families. Anything you can do to put it in one place is going to mean fewer clicks for them and they will be better informed!
4. Use Kahoot! or Quizlet for fun and engaging review games and lessons
A lot of people see Kahoot or Quizlet as a place to review concepts, but in recent years, they have come a long way and you can use Kahoot to teach and assess almost all of your content. (Not that you should. It wouldn’t be fun anymore)
So take a look back at these programs and apps and see if there are new ways that you could incorporate them into your teaching.
5. Have students create digital portfolios to showcase their best work
The art teacher at my school does this in a super cool way! She has all of the students create a Google Slides Presentation and there is a slide for each project. Thye take pictures of their art and put them on their slides and then she has them record a Flipgrid video reflection and embed that into their slides as well. In the end, they have pictures of their art and a record of their thoughts about them as well!
It doesn’t need to be this creative. It could be as simple as a folder in their Google Drive of their Google Doc Essays that they have written that year or it could be a Google Site or something created in Canva. The possibilities with it are endless!
If you're looking for more ideas on how to use technology in your classroom, be sure to check out the free Design Your Digital Classroom Summit.
This online event is happening from August 8-12 and is packed with expert advice from teachers just like you who are using tech tools to create dynamic learning environments. The summit is free to attend, so sign up today! Do any of these ideas inspire you to try something new in your own classroom?