Now that pupils have returned to the classroom, how can teaching staff capitalise on this year-long tech experiment?
Having spent months working out how to deliver digital lessons in the most effective way, teachers will now be focused on working out how to fill the gaps that exist in their students’ learning, while still finding ways to support those children forced to isolate and continue to work at home. It’s been hard work and life isn’t likely to get much easier for the profession anytime soon…
The burnout burden
Teaching has long been recognised as a stressful job, and reports suggest that UK teachers work more than a day of unpaid overtime each week. Unsurprisingly, the pandemic has compounded this situation even further with teacher charity, Education Support’s annual Teacher Wellbeing Index showing that more staff than ever are experiencing symptoms of burnout, depression and poor mental health. The main reason for this was volume of workload, caused by never ending paperwork or data gathering. Worryingly, the Index also suggests that half of teachers are considering leaving their jobs this year over concerns for their health and wellbeing.
It’s time for teachers to embrace edtech to ease their administrative pressures. Many platforms can support teachers beyond delivering lessons or setting homework – it can be used to ease their administrative back logs, automate workflows, and streamline reporting too.
For example, best-in-class platforms enable workflows to be automated and help with lesson planning. Rather than spending time sifting through files of work, reports, attendance records and grade predictions, some sophisticated platforms allow teachers to access this information at the click of a button, enabling users to view student data at school, class and individual level. This has the potential to save countless hours on administrative tasks.
It can also help teachers continue to offer remote learning for those who need it – recorded or live lessons can be posted to the platform and it’s easy to integrate content and links to other resources and multimedia uploads or voice recordings to make the learning experience as valuable as possible for distance learners.
‘Clever application of edtech’
Sophisticated edtech software can also be used for reporting and progress tracking, saving teachers many hours gathering academic evidence and compiling reports. It can help shoulder the burden of evidencing learning by building and analysing holistic summaries of learner progress, passion and proficiency and even track student learning patterns using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms. Using edtech in this way can drastically cut the time teachers spend logging grades and writing reports and takes away the pain of plotting educational pathways.
Ensuring that their lesson plans track the demands of the curriculum can also be a headache for teachers. Digital lesson planning tools can help teaching staff access the resources they need and display curriculum pathways and goals.
We no longer need to allow the administrative side of a teacher’s job to add to their stress levels and drive them out of the profession. Tasks such as lesson planning, progress tracking, assessment scheduling and reporting can all be supported through clever application of edtech. It’s time to capitalise on the use of tech in schools and allow it to manage the admin strain – allowing teachers the time and energy to do what they signed up for in the first place: to educate and nurture future generations.
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