Can technology ease a teacher’s admin burden?

Monday, December 20th, 2010 | technology

No job is finished until the paperwork is done.  Unfortunately this is also true of a teacher’s work.  Administration work – admin for short – takes much of a teacher’s time and anything that can lighten that burden is welcome.

When you bring technology into the classroom to assist you with teaching you will be pleasantly surprised to learn that it has the additional benefit of helping you with admin tasks.

The computer in your classroom has many uses.  If the computer is a laptop, it is even better, since you will be able to carry it with you so that you can catch up with your admin work in the staff room or at home.

Here are a few ways in which technology can help to cut your admin load: 

Use your computer to create documents such as examination papers, worksheets and lesson plans.  The preparation of these documents may be time consuming but once created, they are yours forever.  Just imagine the amount of time you’ll be saving in the future.

Maintain learner score sheets on your computer –tools that calculate automatically and update records as figures are changed, are available to you.  This is a great time-saver and ensures accuracy.

A computer makes a great filing cabinet!  All your lesson plans, notes, lists, reports and other documents can be filed and stored in one place.  This results in an orderly system and saves searching time.  It also saves a lot of space – with all your documents safely stored on your computer, you can ditch all those bulky paper files.

Instead of going through the process of filling in an attendance register, you can display an electronic version of the register on an interactive whiteboard, and then invite learners to come up to the board to click their presence.  An added advantage of this approach is that the personal responsibility of being present in class is impressed on the minds of learners.

If you take your laptop along to a meeting you will be able to take and type the minutes while the meeting is in progress.  Think how much time you could save if you prepare and issue the minutes on the spot!

When you start using your classroom technology you’ll discover more ways in which it can help you with admin tasks – time saved in these ways will allow you to focus on the more enjoyable and rewarding aspects of teaching.

For more technology tips for teachers click here.

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3 Comments to Can technology ease a teacher’s admin burden?

Dereck Marnewick
Monday, 20 December, 2010

One of the heavy workloads all teachers have is that of marking assessments and collating the results so that they become meaningful for diagnostic purposes.
Teachers at schools such as Wynberg Boy’s High, SACS, St James Primary and Edgemead Primary make use of the EvaluNet XT software product in their computer laboratory. The learners do the assessment electronically and all marking and diagnostics are done automatically – saving the teachers loads of time and frustration.
In fact in 2009 Muizenberg Junior did the Annual National Assessments for Grade 6 Numeracy this way!
This proves that technology, if utilised correctly, can ease every teacher’s administration load. This leaving more time for much needed classroom teaching, but more importantly there is no delay between the assessment and appropriate intervention.

Kobus van Wyk
Monday, 20 December, 2010

Good point, Dereck. In fact, assessment is one of the areas in education where technology can play a major role – so much so that I will devote an entire blog posting to this topic within a few days. I would welcome it if you would then share some of the examples above in greater detail. We need to share the good practice of our schools with others. Sadly, the use of technology as an assessment tool is underutelized, even by schools with computer facilities. We need to change perceptions so as to turn this situation around.

[...] do you know that that technology is the best painkiller for admin work?  Admin is certainly the least glamorous part of teaching but technology – particularly a [...]

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