Reducing Teacher Workload with iPad
By Nick Acton, ICT Coordinator at Maldon Court Prep School and Curriculum Specialist Trainer at JTRS
In this blog, I’ll be exploring how apps, and the iPad itself, can reduce teacher workloads. In doing so, I’ll focus in on four main areas of teaching and learning that can be workload heavy. You can find out more about each app that I mention by clicking on their names as you read through the blog.
Setting up the Classroom
Without a doubt, one of the biggest demands on an early years teacher is the creation and ongoing progression of learning journals. That being said, teachers in key stage one, two, three and onwards may well be tasked with journaling a child’s development as well. The sheer volume of evidence that needs to be piled up on just one child is overwhelming, not to mention an entire EYFS classes. Thankfully, there are apps that can help. Namely, I would recommend Tapestry and SeeSaw. Tapestry has been around for a while now and can be an Early Year Teacher’s best friend. It is an app specifically designed to help gather evidence and pin EYFS standards to said evidence. Because the iPad is a multi-media tool, the information surrounding a child can be recorded on in photo form, as a short film, in notation or voice note. This means that little learning progressions can easily be captured in the moment. See Saw can provide a similar platform for teachers with one big difference. The children themselves can interact and add things to their own learning journals. Again, the learning can be captured as videos, photos, voice notes and written notes on SeeSaw and it can also offer a blank whiteboard for children to write on and screen recorded. Both apps self-generate and collate the captured learning evidence in to PDF journals that can easily be printed off.
Sharing Teaching & Learning Resources
There you have it. Four areas of teaching that can be significantly effected by the embedment of a handful of apps. Overall, it’s worth stating that an iPad itself can have a profound effect on your overall workload. I know for me, it’s usability has made a big difference. Most apps are extremely intuitive and user friendly. The technology is no longer a barrier or a time consumer itself. In fact, it does the opposite. The iPad and it’s multi-media capabilities can take on tasks that would previously involve a whole range of devices. I accept that for some, getting your head around using an iPad could be a mammoth task in itself. However, I would say that it is infinitely worth the time. Many new technologies have come and gone in schools. Some have demanded a lot on teachers and have delivered very little to show for it (Smart Boards, I’m looking at you). An iPad is not part of that club. Whatever you use it for, it will make your life easier. It will reduce your workload. It might even give you your weekend back.
- Nick Acton