The following is a guest post written by Mitch Pazanski, art department head at MightySkins. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us.
As a higher education instructor in the information era, awareness of security and productivity is more valuable today than ever before. If you have a slew of poor computer habits, you could be wasting more time and energy than you think. To save yourself stress and improve your teaching experience, start nurturing these five essential computer habits.
Why is a Mindful Technology Routine Crucial for Teachers?
When it comes to your computer routine, you could be wasting hours and even days if you either don’t have a routine or are slacking. There are many technology tools and modern methods that can help you combat lost work, avoid excessive emails, communicate better with students, and stay on-task. Here’s what you, a teacher working in the digital age, can do to enhance your online working methods.
1 – Work in a Cloud
The days of computer crashes and lost documents can be considered a thing of the past if all computer users decide to board the cloud ship. Technology provides us with amazing web-hosted tools negating the need to weigh down your computer with excessive software and, in most cases, the need to save your work every few minutes. Working in the cloud can save a ton of time and stress.
2 – Use a Password Vault
How many different password-protected accounts do you have? According to Joseph Bernstein, a BuzzFeed news reporter, the average English-speaking adult has 27 separate online login accounts to remember. As a teacher you may have even more, considering the nature of your work. So, stop writing all of your login info in your day planner and start using a password vault. Leveraging a free browser add-on like LastPass can help create a secure, fast, simple, and more productive login experience across the web.
3 – Acquaint Yourself With Student-Preferred Communication Technologies
Depending on who your students are, there are a myriad of communication tools they are probably already using. Some prefer WhatsApp while others lean toward Google Hangouts. But regardless of which chat platform they are using, you can either meet students where they are, or use an app like Slack to combine all of your communication in a single dashboard. You can always request that students contact you by email, but you are likely to stay better connected if you get to know the platforms they are using.
4 – Limit Your Time on Social Media
Today, nobody is safe from the distraction of social media – not even educators. 30% of all time spent online is on social media. But, you don’t want this cutting into your classroom time. So, set limits for yourself. If you need help, there is software available to help with this particular issue. Try StayFocusd as a Chrome add-on to control your time spent on any specific website.
5 – Leverage Editing Tools
With changes in digital technology comes a shift in the way our brains process information. We, the 21st Century population, prefer bite-sized lessons and data presentations. At the same time, we are always in a rush. Avoid typos and grammar mistakes with software that can streamline the editing process. Grammarly and Hemingway are amazing, free tools intended to make sure you don’t accidentally present students with sloppy learning materials.
We used to think that it takes 21 days to form a habit, but this is a myth. It can actually take 66 days before something starts to feel normal to you. So, start making these changes today and watch higher productivity become part of your lifelong computer routine.
Mitch Pazanski is the art department head at MightySkins, a vinyl skin company located in Florida. He helps design Asus Laptop skins, Lenovo Flex skins, gaming, and phone skins that are offered at MightySkins.
Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.