Anyone who knows me at all knows that my most precious resource is not my money. It is my time. Given time I can make more money. But I cannot make more time.
That’s why it’s critically important that things are streamlined for me as a teacher. I want to spend my time focusing on kids – on their strengths and on their areas that need work. I don’t want to spend my time trying to figure out how to take attendance or how to put in grades or how to make assignments available to them. I want to spend my time working with kids.
At my current school, my technology situation is doable; it would be great if it were streamlined. I have one program I use for grades. I have a learning management system that’s completely separate from my grade program. I have a class website using a third system. When I post an assignment, I have to post it on my class website, upload the document in two separate places on a daily basis. There’s my learning management system. It’s great and I love it! But it’s one more thing for me to do. I have to make sure I upload the assignments and any resources as well as any links. I seem to spend more time posting assignments than I spend reviewing them.
This summer I went to the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) conference in Denver. And I searched for gold. And I searched and I searched and I search. And I actually found it a few times.
I’m a sucker for tee shirts. Especially cool ones with cool sayings. I was walking around the exhibition hall and I noticed a tee shirt that said, “This is what awesome looks like.” I had to have it. Of course to get the shirt I was going to have to listen to what they had to say. But I’d do it! Anything to get my hands on one of those tee shirts. But there was another treat. If you got caught wearing the tee shirt, you could randomly select a gift card. If I’m a sucker for tee shirts, I’m an even bigger one for gifts cards! Especially Amazon gift cards!
I walked into the booth, just to get the shirt. I was skeptical but I listened attentively to their demo. I wasn’t sure that I was the right demographic, thinking that they needed more district level people. I am a classroom teacher. What I heard absolutely blew me away. One place where I could have my grade book, my learning management system, my class calendar, the class website. All. In. One. Place. I began to imagine the time savings that it would give me. I started thinking about the ease of use for students and their parents. I was so excited I could hardly stand it.
That’s what eChalk ( www.echalk.com ) is about. It’s the one-stop shop for everything that you need for your class. Want to post homework? Use eChalk. Need to put something on your class calendar? Use eChalk. Grades? eChalk. Tests, quizzes? eChalk. Have a place to host PLC discussions? eChalk.
I’ve often said if you want to give me a gift, give me the gift of time. eChalk does that and more. It’s hard to believe that it can do all this but it can. I’m eager to give it a try. And I will let you know how it goes.
In the meantime, if you want to know what awesome looks like, take a look at eChalk. They do.