“If we’re all so busy, why isn’t anything getting done?”
The list goes on:
- Administrative work
- Endless meetings
- Paying attention to every child’s progress
- Worrying about personal and professional relationships
- Balance work and home
Most of us teachers frequently find ourselves spending way too much time on pointless things. It is a little surprising then that the work remains on the pending list, yet we feel burned out.
Getting tangible about intangibles:
“Innovation, by definition, is a disruptive process. But multiple innovations promise to improve outcomes significantly and reduce costs.”
In investment circles, they say, “Investment in intangible assets such as intellectual property (IP), research, technology, and human capital, has risen inexorably after the COVID-19 pandemic.” And we are witnessing the start of a new stage in the history of capitalism based on learning, knowledge, and intellectual capital.
According to experts, Investing in intangibles has increased productivity and long-term economic growth.
In education, intangibles like digitizing classrooms, data analytics and ERP application will play a significant role. Because in response to the pandemic, many schools have made significant strides toward boosting productivity through automation, digitalization, and the reorganization of operations, including a rapid shift to at-home work to increase efficiency and resilience.
Schools, EdTech and Productivity
The promise of technology in school systems of all types is great–enabling personalized learning, saving teacher time, and equipping students with the skills they need for success. The use of technology in education became a lifeline during the COVID-19 pandemic. As students return to the classroom, school systems must carefully consider the longer-term role of technology.
Schools also need to get much more innovative at sourcing talent by tapping global labor markets, building part-time workforces, or using older workers.
Schools will need to reinvent work—what, where, when, how, who, and why- administrators, researchers, and educators recognize that work is not a place you go but something you do. Transforming process flows will unlock new kinds of productivity. The education sector is making radical changes to the education approach, aggressively developing systems—from social networks to videoconferencing—that tear down silos and reinvent how far-flung employees collaborate and exchange knowledge.
Digital holds significant promise in the education sector-
Teaching is a dynamic and challenging profession. Teachers must deal with diverse students from the perspective of race, religious ethnicity, family background, and individual student aptitude. In a fast-changing world that employs technology at every step, dealing with students requires different teaching methodologies and teaching powered by technology to differentiate instruction according to individual learning needs.
Choosing suitable teaching methodologies will bring instructions to life and increase the level of engagement in the classroom.
Winning in the next normal requires much more focus on productivity.
Existing and emerging technologies can help save teacher time that could redirect toward student learning. But to capture the potential, stakeholders need to address a few imperatives.
Boost Your Productivity- Five Hacks
Lessons from Google-
For the past five years, researchers at Google have quietly been trying to identify what makes some teams more productive than others. They found no smoking gun — the IQs or experience levels of team members didn’t matter, nor did there seem to be a magic combination of personalities or backgrounds.
What did make a difference, though, was the culture that various teams created. Successful, productive teams made their members feel comfortable expressing new ideas and taking risks — they fostered “psychologically safe” environments. On the other hand, poorly performing groups tended to be hierarchical and lacked “conversational turn-taking.” Google found that when a minority of team members did most of the talking, a group’s collective intelligence declined.
Lesson- If you want to make your team more productive, one of the best things you can do is create a friendly and encouraging environment — and do your best to ensure everyone gets a chance to speak.
Lessons from Nike-
The Nike rule is simple: If you can do a task in under two minutes, do it. It’s easy to tell yourself that you’ll “reply later,” “call her back tomorrow,” or “check on that after lunch.” But now you have three items on your to-do list. You could have had zero if you just cared for these little things as they came up.
- This one is the simplest of all productivity hacks for teachers and educators. One two-minute task doesn’t seem like a big deal, but many neglected two-minute tasks start to add up. It’s like how leaving one dish in the sink is probably fine, but if you keep doing it, you have a sink full of dishes to wash. No one likes a sink full of dishes to wash. Do yourself a favor and prevent the pile-up in the first place.
- Can someone else do it equally well or better? (If yes, then collaborate)
- Is it a priority? (If no, defer it.) Is it work for the sake of work? (If yes, see delete it.)
Follow the MAT (Milestones, Assumptions, Tasks) Framework-
Big, lofty goals can be hard to accomplish. Where do you even start? The MAT framework helps you break your goal down by milestones, assumptions, and tasks. Experts recommend breaking big projects down into between two and ten essential milestones.
A simple way to make a long to-do list more manageable is to break it down day by day. When you get to the school, scrape the top three most important items off your list and write them on a post-it note. Make sure you can cross all three off by the time you leave that day. Then rinse and repeat.
Focus on just three main priorities per day. Big, overwhelming to-do lists are doomed to fail. By narrowing your focus and creating small, achievable goals, you can set yourself up for success. (Like losing 50 pounds sounds impossible, but 5 pounds a month for ten months seems much more manageable.) Plus, it feels good to check items off your list at the end of each day — your hard work and accomplishments will seem more tangible.
To be more productive, you need to eliminate distractions—awareness of what distracts you and finding ways to minimize or eliminate them.
For some people, this might mean working in a quiet space away from colleagues. It might mean putting their phone on silent and out of sight for others. It could also suggest using a timer to break their work into more manageable chunks.
The goal is to find what works for you and then do whatever you can to minimize distractions so that you can focus on your work.
You are planning and Using Your Time. In this day and age, using your time wisely is just as important as working.
That is why prioritizing becomes a skill that you should learn. Incorporate routines in your life to make tasks easier. If you need serious time and space for specific projects, engage in deep work by disconnecting from distractions, mobile phones, or email.
I’m pretty sure most of us have heard the saying “work smarter, not harder,” yet some of us still find ourselves chopping away at the block, but without much effect. Although our intentions are great, more effective and efficient ways could help us get more done while being productive. And some of our most challenging working individuals are our teachers producing results in the backdrop.
SMART And Chronicle Cloud
SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based. I have been using Chronicle Cloud and a few tools for Quizzes to help me manage your classroom tasks in that order and make my lessons fun and engaging. Features like the Lesson Plan, Roster, Notes, and the Formative and Grading tools in the Chronicle Cloud app have been a time saver! The best-? It helps me share and collaborate with my fellow teachers. My school has three stories. I do not have to rush to share the Roster or grading data. The app helps me with it. The app has made communication with my students and their parents more effective.
A great way that teachers can use Chronicle Cloud for faster grading of student papers is by quickly adding comments and not to mention an easy way to download documents in a compatible format. Let your inner student (and organizer) come alive with this infographic that outlines a daily process that can tweak your schedule. Here’s to getting more things done (in a more innovative way)!
Chronicle Cloud and its focus on data analytics to augment productivity
Advanced analytics can substantially raise the level of understanding of what happens in a school regarding pedagogy and administration. Data analytics can help the education system solve previously impenetrable problems and reveal those they never knew existed, such as hidden bottlenecks or faulty productivity standards that hamper student learning which is the primary goal.
Chronicle Cloud provides the power of technology to support educational systems and outcomes worldwide and works closely with those investing in, innovating, and delivering on its potential. By working directly with schools and from our ongoing research, we possess a deep understanding of how students learn – and where they are struggling – to ensure that investments in education achieve maximum impact.
Winning in the next normal requires much more focus on actual collaboration.
We have seen the power of technology in support of educational systems and outcomes worldwide and work closely with those investing in, innovating, and delivering on its potential. By working directly with schools, and experienced teachers helping us, we possess a deep understanding of how students learn. And where they are struggling – to ensure that we keep on adding value to the app to help teachers achieve more- not just professionally but also in their personal life, by automating most classroom and administrative tasks.
Getting Things Done
As David Allen, author of Getting Things Done (and general fan of productivity hacks), says, “Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” Offload your to-do list. Don’t waste brain power thinking about all the “in-progress” or “planned” initiatives. Monitor and Track student progress with Chronicle Cloud, and store data on the app — just don’t let them occupy valuable real estate in your brain.
- You need your brainpower to solve problems, listen wholeheartedly to students, and understand individual learning needs. Don’t consume half your energy trying to keep track of all the other things going on. If your to-do list is purely mental, you’re much more likely to forget about things and drop the ball.
- As a teacher, you probably have a million items on your radar. It can be tempting to dive into everything at once. After all, if you devote 100 per cent of your energy to one task, you may feel like you’re neglecting everything else.
- Wrong. “Multitasking” is a myth. Research from the American Psychological Association shows that humans can’t focus on multiple things in parallel. What we think of as “multitasking” is more like “task switching.”
- When we constantly flip our attention from one thing to another, we make more errors and take longer to finish tasks. Instead of trying to attack everything, identify what needs to be done, prioritize your classroom tasks, and then go through them one at a time. Devote your total attention to each item on your to-do list.
- It sounds so obvious, as far as productivity hacks go, but working through tasks in a flow or a sequence will make you more productive. Not only will you work faster and make fewer errors — at the end of the day, you’ll have a longer list of accomplishments to show for yourself.
- Automating tasks: Software should automate some of the most tedious and time-consuming tasks. Recently, there’s been considerable proliferation of purpose-built tools that can help you save time on just about anything. Chronicle Cloud helps teachers build their goals with features like the Lesson Plan, Roster, Note-taking, Formative Assessments, Gradebook and Rubrics. With storage on the Cloud and sharing capabilities, Chronicle Cloud is custom-designed to assist teachers and save time.
- Educational apps save traveling costs.
- Educational apps save time.
- Education apps will schedule your essential tasks during the day.
- Education apps will help in personalizing instruction and monitor individual and group progress.
- Chatbots will simplify interactions and be available 24×7, helping with self-paced learning and providing instant feedback, which will boost productivity. Teachers can utilize the time for other meaningful tasks.
A survey carried out on 1400 educators revealed that the classrooms of the times to come will be all about personalized and self-paced learning. All educational institutions will have to take a student-centric approach, enabling children to decide their learning objectives and speed, depending upon their interests. Through video-based learning, chatbots and artificial intelligence.
Seek fresh perspectives, iterate in response to feedback, and help each other. Interactions will keep the work-environment stress-free, which will boost productivity. Talk to your co-teachers/ colleagues. We tend to mistake quiet, heads-down work environments for productive ones, but chatter can sometimes be good. Some of today’s most innovative workplaces encourage people to talk regularly. Ideas get exchanged and cross-pollinated, avoiding mistakes, and knowledge accumulates faster.