Today, EdTech Educators have new ways to stimulate and engage with students to improve their teaching practices and keep them motivated. However, such things take time, research, and trial and error testing within your class. That is not what this article is about. Here are five life hacks you can try right away to help you function as a teacher and help you teach your students.
EdTech Life hacks for Teachers
1. Use QR Code
Put your QR code for your contact information somewhere where both students can use it and where parents can use it when they come in for an open house and parent-teacher sessions.
If you do start using apps with your students, then do not let it be a flash in the pan. It is especially true if the apps are being used to keep journals or organize the students’ work. Journal and organizational apps that allow you to update things on your students’ apps may also be handy.
Apps that allow students to collect information from the real world and then keep it are also useful. Students should be encouraged to download and use them, especially if you have classroom lessons where they may copy pages from textbooks. Genius Scan is its free rival for Android/iOS.
2. Send audio messages
Many of them are not going to read long messages. Why not use Audioboom and then record your message so that the parents may hear it by clicking a link? You could also write the message to people who are unable to listen to the message for whatever reason.
You should also be careful about how many times you contact them. Weekly or monthly updates may seem like a good idea, but unless they are directly targeted at each parent’s child, where 90% of the information is about that child, then the parents will stop reading it.
Eventually, they will look upon it as another piece of spam where a glance is all you can hope for. That is why, unless you are sending specific updates about each student/child, it is best to limit your emails to only very important issues.
3. Check your emails twice a day
Many EdTech teachers spend too much time on their emails. It seems to be a habit that they develop. It is better to pick certain times of the day where you may deal with them in one big batch. Checking your email twice per day is fine. It is not fine if you keep looking at your email to see who has emailed you next.
Ideally, you should set up a routine for most of your ad-hoc tasks and habits; otherwise, they are going to become a needless drain on your time. They may only take seconds out of your day, but it not only adds up in terms of time but also in terms of your motivation as you begin to feel like you have done a lot more during your day than you have.
You can use apps like SaneBox to sort your emails before you read them.
4. Introduce students to news
You should stay connected where possible, but it is also important that your students stay connected to the news world too. Giving news examples may help students see how their education matters and how it will affect them and their world in the future. Relating your teaching to news stories may help students see the relevance of what you are teaching, which may help them engage a little better.
5. Make it fun for students to show off or smart off
You can try sites like Smore.com and ReciteThis.com. They will allow students to create their flyers and inspirational quotes. If your educational institution doesn’t already have a blackboard system, then have your students sign up to the Mobile Learn blackboard on Android or iOS. These allow you and your students to upload things where all the students can see. It allows for a personal space where you may restrict the flow of information to you handing out assignments and taking them in, or where you may create a public forum that the students may show off on and/or have fun on. Plus, with your monitoring, you can identify possible issues before they become series.