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10 Tools To Help Teachers Save Time

10 Tools To Help Teachers Save Time

Technology has rapidly advanced in recent years. After all, it is a huge part of our lives and can have huge educational benefits for both teachers and students. Check out 10 useful technology tools for teachers to help you to save time while enhancing your teaching.

1. BetterLesson

BetterLesson is a time-efficient way to help teachers make their lessons as useful as possible. BetterLesson has lesson plans for both English and Math provided by over 100 master teachers.

The lessons come with notes on how to use them and video summaries from the master teachers. This is one of the most useful technology tools available for teachers, with a simple layout and plenty of information and data.

BetterLesson

    2. GoConqr

    GoConqr is a personal learning environment that allows students and teachers to share learning resources. Teachers can create interesting and engaging lessons using the Mindmap, in addition to Note-taking, Flashcard, and Quiz making tools.

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    GoConqr also comes with a crowd-sourced library with over 2 million learning resources from around the globe. Nifty!

    GoConqr

      3. BloomBoard

      BloomBoard provides schools with feedback and training for their teachers. It can be very expensive providing teacher development and support, but this technology tool makes it much more simple, offering classroom observations and real-time chats with some of the most effective educators available.

      BloomBoard

        4. GradeBook Pro

        GradeBook Pro is one of the best apps available to help teachers to manage their classes. One of the main features of the app is teachers can use it to monitor student attendance.

        The most useful part of the app is that teachers can make individual notes on each student’s progression throughout the year – making it a great ally for your memory!

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        GradeBook Pro

          5. Edmodo

          Edmodo is already a very popular app used by teachers and students alike. It has recently expanded and now comes with even more benefits, including a new library of Common Core based content, so teachers can check if their students are hitting various standards!

          Edmodo

            6. FineTune

            FineTune is a useful tool to help teachers to evaluate their students’ writing assignments in a timely manner. Teachers can rate sample essays and give feedback, as well as see other ratings from experienced teachers.

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            Writing is a very important skill, and one of the best parts of this app is that the assignment doesn’t have to be for English class – it also includes non-traditional subjects, such as History and Science.

            FineTune

              7. TooNoisy

              Too Noisy is the ideal app for teachers who dislike a loud classroom. This app allows teachers to decide how loud the background noise can get in their classrooms, and if it gets any louder, an alarm will go off! This is a great way to keep a class quiet without requiring any extra work from the teacher.

              TooNoisy

                8. LightSail

                LightSail is a really useful tool for homework and assignments. It is an e-reader app with around 80,000 texts available.

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                Teachers can set challenges and assignments for their students on LightSail, but one of the best features of the app is that teachers can see who hasn’t done enough reading. They can even compare their class to others in the same school.

                LightSail

                  9. Remind101

                  Teachers can use Remind101 to send announcements and notices to both parents and students. While this in itself may not seem impressive, the real benefit of the free app is that teachers do not need to reveal their phone number to any parents or students, and vice versa.

                  This app is great to help teachers connect with their students without risking their privacy.

                  Remind

                    10. ThinkCERCA

                    ThinkCERCA is a useful tech tool that helps teachers to create reading assignments to further their students’ critical thinking skills. You can choose a topical subject and then assign different texts so that every student gets a text appropriate for their reading level. You can even mark their work and give them feedback using the tool!

                    ThinkCERCA

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                      Amy Johnson

                      Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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                      Last Updated on July 17, 2019

                      The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

                      The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

                      What happens in our heads when we set goals?

                      Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

                      Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

                      According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

                      Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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                      Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

                      Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

                      The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

                      Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

                      So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

                      Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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                      One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

                      Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

                      Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

                      The Neurology of Ownership

                      Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

                      In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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                      But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

                      This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

                      Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

                      The Upshot for Goal-Setters

                      So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

                      On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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                      It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

                      On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

                      But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

                      More About Goals Setting

                      Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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