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3 Tech Tools to Help Teachers Organize and Streamline

Friday, January 11, 2013 -- Scott Sterling

Do you find there simply isn’t enough time to do your required duties as an education professional and be as creative and dynamic as you want to be in the classroom? Perhaps you’re the technology director for your school that loves to bring new ideas to your teachers. Whatever the case, the beginning of the year traditionally means setting new goals and streamlining your life, and no one tends to need that more than a teacher.

Here are three technology tools that can really help educators with lesson planning and organization.

Technology Tools for Teaching & Learning

The brainstorms come when you least expect it. In the shower on Sunday morning, you may decide that you would like your class to videoconference with students in Japan to discuss their country, or assemble their midterm projects into an online portfolio, or any number of great ideas. The problem is finding out where to get these things done on the web. This is where Technology Tools for Teaching & Learning, from edtechteacher.org, comes in. At the top is a list of learning goals. Simply click on the one that best fits what you would like your kids to accomplish and the site provides a list of tools on the Web that can help in that goal. This site itself will save you an immense amount of time searching on Google.

Google Voice for texting parents

Today’s modern parent simply finds it more efficient to communicate by text, but it’s obviously not a great idea to give parents your own cell number. Luckily there’s Google Voice. For no cost at all they give you a random phone number. You can then either use their website or an app on your phone to place calls and send texts. The responses are neatly filed and your personal number stays private. Phone calls may go unreturned and e-mails unanswered, but texts seem to always elicit a response from parents. And it really freaks out the kids, who don’t think teachers know how to text, much less find their parents. Of course, balance out the negative texts with positive ones.

Teachers Pay Teachers

Don’t feel like making that quiz on Romeo & Juliet Act 1 from scratch? Perhaps you would like to make a little extra money on the side. One thing all teachers know how to do is steal great ideas, but at Teachers Pay Teachers you don’t actually steal; you buy. Teachers post their original educational materials and for a nominal fee (usually less than $10, depending on the product), you can use the fruits of their labor. The teacher/seller receives either 60 or 85% of the proceeds quarterly. It’s a great way to save a lot of work and help out a fellow educator at the same time.