The availability of technology tools in the classroom has helped teachers enhance their students' learning environment in so many amazing ways. By using technology in the classroom, teachers can reduce the amount of wasted instructional time! Here are some ideas.
Make Use of Chrome Extensions
Google Chrome has seemingly taken over the world! But it's not without good reason. In addition to the great features that accompany Google Chrome, like signing in from different devices while maintaining access to bookmarks and other important information, its many website extensions allow Chrome users to extend the functionality of their favorite websites.
My Chrome extension bar is quite full, but my favorite time-saving extension is Share to Classroom from Google Classroom. I love, love, LOVE Google Classroom and all of its amazing capabilities. The Share to Classroom extension allows me to quickly create and share assignments, announcements, and polls, and it gives me the ability to share a website with my students immediately! Instead of writing, spelling, or repeating a URL, I can simply load the website, select my Share to Classroom extension, choose the class I'd like to share the site with, and boom! Share to Classroom opens a new tab on each student's Chromebook, and everyone is on the same page—figuratively and literally!
Download Helpful Mobile Apps
Mobile apps have been a lifesaver in my classroom! I shudder to think how many precious instructional minutes I wasted in the early days of my teaching career by looking up information on my desktop computer or advancing a slide on my presentation. Now, because many of the educational websites I use have associated apps, I'm able to access and manage course material quickly and effectively.
Nearpod is one of my favorite websites to use when I'm lecturing. By adding my presentations to Nearpod, I can give students access to the lesson with a code that allows them to view it on their screens. With the free Nearpod app on my smartphone or tablet, I can manage my presentation while walking around the room.
Nearpod isn't the only app I use frequently. If students have a question about content, I can access the Chrome app to quickly find resources. The Google Classroom app allows me to immediately share resources and assignments with my students, so I no longer have to sit at my desktop computer and wait for programs that often take forever to load.
Utilize Voice Command Tools
Using technology with great voice command tools, like Amazon Echo ($179.99), Google Home ($129.00), or Apple's Siri, teachers can quickly access, store, and share information! With a few simple words (or holding down a button), these smart technology tools give you access to a wealth of information to share with your students. And beyond searching for information, they make it possible to schedule appointments, play music or audio books, review content, order products, make phone calls, and set a timer for class activities—and that's just off the top of my head. When you're using technology in the classroom, the world is at your fingertips!
Technology tools have not only allowed teachers to enhance their classroom learning environment but also become time management masters. By utilizing any of these options, teachers can regain precious time in their classrooms!