5 time-saving tech solutions for new teachers

Pete Atherton

Thursday, 18 April 2019

If you have managed to pass or are on your way to passing a teacher training course, we salute you!

Not only are people judging everything that you do, the workload sometimes often feels unwieldy, to say the least. If technology exacerbates the problem, then try to rethink your edtech strategy.

This humble list of tech solutions that can save you time, should help you develop a more considered, empowered and critical approach to the way that you are using tech.

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The overarching theme of this blog is that you can outsource some of your tasks and this can help produce even better outcomes.

1. Outsource tech tasks to Fiverr

Good and bad senior managers have one thing in common: they usually delegate (but with different effects). You can take this a step further by delegating some of the more skilled but time-consuming tasks to someone on Fiverr.com, who willingly advertises their technical skills and may even be halfway across the world.

I have saved many hours by paying as little as $5 and as much as $100 for tasks that would have reduced me to rubble had I completed them myself. Examples of these are web page creation, logos, academic posters, animated videos, cartoons, book covers and more.

When you want to add finesse to resources or augment the student experience, you should consider outsourcing. I view Fiverr as cheap knowledge; when I don’t have the time to figure something out, I learn by paying someone who does. That way, I can focus on my core skills and accelerate my acquisition of new ones.

2. Pool your students’ technical skills

Staying with the theme of outsourcing, have you ever considered conducting an informal audit of your student’s technical skills? The results are likely to surprise you one way or another. For example, an increasing number of young people are semi-professional online gamers, Youtubers, Instagram entrepreneurs, animators, filmmakers, or may be good at fixing the school computers.

Use simple online surveys like Surveyhero to gauge how much the other students could learn from each other and could even unlock something that gives you and your students a bit of kudos.

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3. D.I.Y feedback

You will almost definitely be asked to mark books as a teacher. As a useful alternative, you may want to think about the way that online quizzes like Quizlet can also help produce powerful formative assessment. Time-poor teachers can source ready-made flashcards and varied quiz options.

The students can then peer review each other’s answers and report back to the teacher to address strengths and misconceptions. The Quizlet app includes Quizlet Learn, which is essentially an adaptive study plan to build students’ autonomy.

4. Mirror your screen

Your endless scrolling often uncovers rich learning resources. Do you see content on your phone and wish you could share it with your students? If you are not mirroring your screen already, it may be easier than you think. Simply download an IOS or Android app and you will be very close to being able to mirror your smartphone or tablet screen with your classroom computer.

If you have Google Drive on your phone, you can easily store multiple images, videos and documents to show on the interactive whiteboard. This should help keep your teaching current, which is important for your students’ engagement. You can also model the correct use of mobile phones in a classroom in this way.

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5. Let the tech crunch the numbers

We have talked about outsourcing to people and devices. How about outsourcing to robots (well, artificial intelligence, anyway)? On Spiral (Spiral.ac) and Goformative, you can produce in-depth formative assessment reports, without having to create tally charts, as I had to do for many years!

If your school is beholden to tech companies like Capita, you could ask about artificial intelligence platforms like CENTURY Tech (their caps, not mine). CENTURY uses groundbreaking A.I to create a more personalised and streamlined learning experience for all students.

You can call these life hacks, teacher hacks or edtech tips - it really doesn’t matter. What matters is yours and your students’ wellbeing and success, so let’s try and make the tech take the strain.


About our Community Expert


Pete Atherton
Community Expert

Pete Atherton is a passionate, skilled and committed educator.

He has been a teacher and consultant for over 20 years and is now a lead Tutor at LJMU and Edge Hill University. He is also a published author and acclaimed ed-tech visionary.

Pete leads the NQT-focused content on the Opogo Hub and continues to curate the course material for our up and coming NQT academy course.

Opogo is a community platform designed to help schools attract and retain the talent that’s right for them. Our social hub is packed with rich content from our community experts. And through our ever-evolving Smart Match technology, teachers can be booked for work simply and quickly.

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