Education & Technology: Tools to Manage the Classroom
When I came into the classroom in 1995, after 15-years at the phone company, I had no idea what one could or couldn’t do with technology so I just adapted what I’d already been doing with computers, mostly writing and some video.
- I used Printshop to create dozens of posters and materials to create that fabled “print rich environment”
- I used a PIM (Personal Information Manager) to maintain a parent contact list, class lists and to print “comments” labels for my report cards (shortening the time it took me to do report cards from two-weeks to two evenings).
- I have never used a lesson plan book but used the “charting” function in Word to maintain a record of my units and lessons
- Neither have I ever used a grade book to track my students’ work, instead I used a grading program to do all the record keeping and whatever math was needed to determine my students’ grades.
- In the era before widespread email, I was able to create detailed sub lesson plans (based on a template of my classroom routine maintained using MS Word) and fax them to the office on the mornings that I called in sick, saving me a trip to school to drop off lesson plans.
I basically just took all of the management tasks needed to run a classroom and looked for ways to do it on the computer, which usually made for neater more professional looking materials and/or allowed me to exercise a level of flexibility without having to recopy things by hand.