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7 Back To School Tech Tips for Teachers

As a new academic session looms, teachers are having to adapt to an EdTech approach with alarming speed to keep up with the times and to increase the performance, productivity, and benefit that can be meted out to students through various digital interventions. Here are a few back-to-school tech tips that can be very useful for teachers who are looking to adopt greater digitization methods in their teaching. 

Education and Parenting

  1. Use Interactive Checklists

Some of the skills taught in school are organizing, planning, meeting deadlines, and discipline when it comes to completing tasks. Encourage your students to use interactive checklists so that they can learn to break up large and multi-step projects into smaller chunks. Every time they are done with a step they can click on the checklist icon on their computers to keep track. As a teacher, it will also help you to see how long each student takes per step and which students require extra help, classes, or extra credit assignments to do well in school. 

  1. Choose Productivity-Boosting & Functional Tools

Many teachers make the rookie mistake of trying to adopt too many tools in a short period because they assume it will yield benefits. An important thing to remember is that all tools are not made equally and neither are all of them are user-friendly. Two important tools that teachers will need are the Quntis fast charger and Quntis screen light bar. The skill level, age group, and cognitive needs of the students are essential factors to consider in any decision to purchase or incorporate a digital tool. 

Always ascertain the ideal age group that has been shared by the manufacturer or EdTech company and do trial periods wherever you can before you impose any digital product on a classroom. Functionality is the other tool apart from relevance and ease of use that you have to consider as a teacher. Tools like Zoom or Google Meet for example are extremely functional for distance learning and conferencing so you want to choose tools that solve a dilemma you are facing with your class. 

  1. Check Free Tools Before Premium 

Many free tools or cost-effective ones are just as brilliant as premium tools that a school may be averse to providing funding for. If a digital initiative can be proven to provide benefit and increase productivity, various external sources of finance such as a parents’ fund or other fundraising activities can also pop up. 

For that reason always try to contact EdTech companies to give you a couple of months of free trial period so you can ascertain whether or not their product matches your teaching style, your school’s priorities, and the skill level of your students. Taking a poll or having a questionnaire survey to see how students are getting along is also a good idea. With free tools, you’ll find many of them can be discontinued easily so utilize them before you sign up for premium digital products. 

  1. Network With Tech Enthusiasts

If you are having trouble deducing the right digital products for your class or grade level, consult with colleagues who are not risk-averse and who genuinely enjoy technology in their teaching process. Regularly attend events where teachers come together and share information and resources. You can also do the equivalent of that online by logging onto forums where primary teachers or above share useful digital resources they feel students will respond well to. 

Word-of-mouth recommendations are much better than experimenting out of the blue with an unfamiliar digital tool. Companies like AGC Education manufacture EdTech products as well as functional school equipment like 3D printers, laminating machines, and a poster printing machine and they can be great for facilitating better and more visual learning for your students. AGC Education also offers software and resources to enable teachers to use their products better. 

  1. Use YouTube Wisely

As any long-term primary or middle school teacher will tell you, children are easily distracted. When using any educational multimedia which can include video clips or tutorials from YouTube, you need to bear in mind that advertisements and recommended videos appearing can really disrupt concentration and defeat the purpose of you using the platform in class. 

As a precaution download the YouTube video/s in advance and save them either on a drive, on your laptop, or as part of a PowerPoint presentation. This way students will not have conflicting videos interrupting the flow of the lesson. If you have to share downloaded video content from YouTube for at-home revision you can use services like WeTransfer to email the video or simply change the link address from ‘YouTube’ to ‘Youtube’ so that the website’s content appears without ads and suggestions for other videos. 

  1. Point Towards The Exact Section 

Oftentimes, when students are given a document or a webpage to peruse for an assignment, they end up scrolling up and down for a long time searching for relevant portions of the text. A new set of features in Google Chrome can pinpoint the visitor to the exact portion you mean to be viewed. Highlight the relevant portion of the text, right-click to ‘copy link to highlight’ to create a URL ending in #. When shared this will take them directly to the highlighted text without them having to look for it. 

  1. Google Slides & Live Captioning

Depending on the grade level you are teaching, most students benefit from captions when visual aids are used in lessons. Whether you are sharing a video in class or any other kind of multimedia consider turning on the captions for better understanding. In Google slides there is an option that provides automatic captions which can be very beneficial for younger students trying to keep track of the information being shared. 

Switch on automatic captioning by going into presentation mode, toggling down to the bottom left of the page, bringing up the menu, and then clicking on the icon that is three dots which will lead you to caption preferences. Live captioning is never 100% accurate so do share additional resources like lessons, or a document that students can refer back to, in order to revise at home.

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