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Don’t let technology control your life. Use technology to help you be more efficient. To do that you must find the right technology for what you need. Analyze why you are not being efficient in your teaching, research, or life and then find the technology to help you. A few of such technologies are described below.

1.Create Your Personal Home Page with iGoogle.

iGoogle allows you to develop a personalized home page on the Internet. You can add links to sites you visit often such as Blackboard, VIP, or other sites on the Internet. Therefore, you save time because you do not have to keep keying in URLs for the sites. You can also add features to your page such as the online newspapers, weather, technology related sites, chat area, etc. Having everything in one place saves you time.

2. Collaborate with Google Docs and Features.

Google docs is a Google Docs is a free, Web-based word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, and form application that is offered by Google. You can collaborate with colleagues in your area or across the United States or worldwide as you sit at your computer and work on a document at the same time. It’s an effective way to collaborate on research or presentations with your peers.

3. Manage Email.

Email overload is a problem for many faculty. To help you manage your email, learn your email system. If you are using Microsoft Outlook, find out about key elements within the system to make managing your email easier. Also, have rules for checking your email. For example, check email only during office hours or let people know that you will answer emails within 24 or 48 hours. Don’t sign up for several Listservs. Also, don’t email yourself to remind you to answer emails or do something based on an email. Just do it.

4. Develop a Central Repository for Course.

Having a central repository for course content allows students and you to find information easily when it’s needed. Blackboard is one example of such a central repository. You can add content in several areas such as Course Documents, Assignments, Discussion Board, etc. Students learn quickly to check the site for pertinent information such as the syllabus, projects, etc. When everything is in one place, it saves everyone time.

5. Organize Files Electronically.

One way to organize your electronic files is through OneNote. OneNote is similar to an electronic three-ring binder. You can organize information within the binder with tabs and pages within the tabs. OneNote can be used on laptops, tablet PC, or desktop PC. You can add Web site links, screen captures, videos, and if you have a tablet PC, use the inking tool to write on pages in your electronic binder. It’s basically a container of information from a variety of sources. You can also search within OneNote to find information on your pages.

Uses of OneNote

Uses of OneNote

6. Record Tutorials for Students.

There are several technologies available so that you can record information for your students. We all have that piece of content that seems difficult for students to understand and at times students need extra help. You can give them that extra support by creating recorded tutorials for students. You can use Jing, Camtasia, Captivate, or Adobe Connect Professional Meeting to capture whatever is on your computer screen, your mouse movements, and your voice. For example, if students have a difficult time understanding how to do the payment (PMT) function in Excel, you can create a tutorial that shows them how to start Excel, add information to the spreadsheet, and create the payment function while you are explaining the purpose of the payment function. Once tutorials are recorded students can watch them more than once prior to the assignment or can use them for remedial work.

7. Use Classroom/Student Response Systems.

Student response systems are often referred to as "clickers" and they are simply a remote control keypad or handset students use to enter responses to a question that is typically presented through PowerPoint. Clickers function by sending a signal from each student’s handset to the instructor’s computer, which then processes the signals and displays the results (typically in a bar chart) onto a projection screen for the class to review. The teacher can then discuss the results the question/answer session or can actually quiz students on course content. Clicker questions are automatically graded, so in a large class, you could give your quiz and have it graded automatically, certainly saving time from grading paper quizzes.

More information about classroom response systems can be found here.

Giving Quizes

get to know your students

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