IDEAS AND INSPIRATION FOR 21st CENTURY TEACHERS
Not only a great way to save some trees, a paperless classroom saves time. With a plethora of online tools to support student learning there are also many that just make your life easier and more efficient. I have compiled a small list of the tools I use to streamline my classrooms workflow to allow me to focus more time with my students and their individual needs. Choose one or all to get started making your life easier in the classroom!
By now you have more than likely heard of this platform, if not, get onto it now! If you are teaching primary aged students this is the tool for you. Seesaw market themselves as a student driven portfolio, true, but there is so much more in this program that just showcasing work.
Students can draw, annotate, comment, upload, record and much more to show progress or overall understanding of learning.
Most of this is self managed. It then allows you to be less tied up with collecting class sets of workbooks and spend more time working with students one on one, which is as we know time well spent.
You can provide instant feedback to student work via a written or verbal comment - much more powerful than a random comment in a student's book days down the track.
It is a complete record of student work and achievement come reporting time. Great evidence for parent teacher interviews, I have even used Seesaw for student-led conferences.
NEW FEATURE - instant messaging between parents and a new portal area for classroom news or announcements! Looking forward to testing these out!
This platform markets itself as the the paperless classroom and it is just that. A complete platform allowing your to deliver tasks/assignments/projects to students with ease - the only limitation is access to devices. Showbie is the ultimate content delivery platform for middle school students, in my opinion slightly too complex for primary ages, but perfect for any age above.
Students can receive tasks and assessment rubrics through the easy to use interface allowing for less time explaining, more time scaffolding.
You can direct message any of the students to give them individualised tips and feedback to support their learning, or even a group discussion point for the whole class.
Any type of work can be submitted to Showbie, even allowing PDF markup and commenting in app, so no need to print and mark and hand back and timely feedback is key. A NEW FEATURE with Showbie 3.4 is these annotations and feedback can be directly exported out to other platforms as a PDF also.
It is app based and web based allowing access the platform easier than ever, no matter where you are.
Evernote has been around for a while now and I have used it since the beginning, why? Because it is so easy. Think of Evernote as your digital diary. You know the one with notes from meetings, pasted in documents from PDs, sensitive information about students…well the list could go on. All of this now is digitalised within this program.
Getting started create Notebooks (folders) for all you notes, I have Whole School Meetings, Team Meetings, Professional Development (goals), Class (with subfolders for each student), New Ideas / Technology and anything else applicable to your environment.
All notes are automatically timed and dated and order accordingly, making it super easy to search for that specific note by keyword, date or subject.
I have a notebook per student where I keep all notes related to that child. Meetings with parents, student achievement goals, anecdotal notes, anything about the child. You can take photos, record meetings/conversations/parent conferences with parents and also teacher student conferences.
You can have shared notebooks with other teachers where applicable as well as students if you are working with higher grade levels but I prefer this to be my honest unsubjective notes on students.
My students know that when I am using Evernote we are focusing on talking about them improving their learning, they love the green elephant :)
Another platform gaining huge momentum at the moment with works in a very similar way is Microsoft 365’s OneNote. I have not used this personally but have seen it used in similar ways with a more collaborative approach, so may be one to check out if your school is using 365.
Obviously there are many more I could add to the list but I wanted to keep this post short and simple as possible. Do yourself a favour and get onto one if not all of these platforms. They all make my life as a teacher more efficient and accountable and with increasing workloads who doesn't want that. A great way to start the new year by setting up your classes and accounts on these now - you'll thank me later.
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