Are teachers keeping their heads above the water?
Participants of the 2019-2020 State of Technology in Education report were anonymously asked a set of wide-ranging questions about their relationship with, and feelings towards, edtech in the classroom. A major theme throughout the report focused on an aspect that is near and dear to our hearts; high teacher workloads and high stress. While it is certainly not unique to teaching, a high workload can be an overwhelming constant in the classroom.
High workloads are leading to stress and frustration which has a negative impact on learning. This study proves something that most are already thinking, but it is compelling to see it in the numbers.
46% of teachers think their workload is unmanageable
27% of administrators think their teacher workloads are unmanageable
18% of the total population surveyed think that the teacher workload is manageable. Only 18%!!
Let’s talk about solutions!
Easy access to resources
It might be cliche, but what happened to the “work smarter, not harder” ethos? And just to throw another cliche in there… what about not reinventing the wheel? We know how much work teachers do, and it’s important that they have the technology, like interactive displays, that makes life easier in the classroom.
Do your interactive displays work with all your other tools?
- Your lesson is on a flash drive? No problem, plug it into your interactive panel and get started.
- It is on a file-sharing site? Use an app, a website, or plug in your computer and open it how you always have.
- It is on your desktop computer that is on the other side of the classroom? Mirror your desktop to the panel.
- It is the same lesson that Ms. X delivered this morning down the hall? She can digitally share that file with you and you don’t have to leave the room.
- Have the lesson on your Google Drive but move classrooms throughout the day? Easily access it on the panel through the Google Drive app.
Peer to Peer Collaboration
One of my favorite moments of teaching was at the end of our staff meetings when teachers and administration could volunteer to share a “Tricky Situation” that they were going through. All of a sudden this group of brilliant individual islands would come together and form a sovereign country. We shared ideas, confided in each other, laughed, and yes, sometimes cried. It was a beautiful thing. The study shows that 58% of teachers believe they need collaborative planning time with peers in order to more effectively implement new teaching and learning innovations in the classroom. I learned more from my co-workers than I ever learned from textbooks. I urge administrators to carve out time for at least one collaborative planning session per week. Your teachers will thank you. Also, it’s a good morale booster.
So the panel is installed in your classroom…we’ve only just begun! 48% of teachers indicated that resources for edtech are available at their school but that they are not trained or provided with learning materials. Training should be an interactive and collaborative experience that demonstrates how to TEACH with the panel, not just how to use the panel. Interactive displays with lesson delivery platforms and pre-made resources will lighten a stressful workload.
While the results of this study can be a bit disheartening, they also present clear solutions. To ease teacher workload we need more collaboration and more effective training. We also need easy access to our curriculum and shareability across all platforms. This is what Promethean’s interactive panels are designed for, and this is why our trainers love what they do. We are here for you!
Author: Brent Hawk taught high school Spanish for 6 years in Ohio, where he implemented a Comprehensible Input (CI) based curriculum to promote cultural fluency – which is part of the school district’s 1:1 Chromebook initiative grant. He enjoys long-distance running, traveling, and watching Ohio State Buckeyes football.