As I took some time this week to watch the video about the internet and multi-tasking, I couldn’t help but notice how many times I was distracted in just over four minutes. During this video, I popped open my school email to see if anything has come through, checked the blog prompt on the Google document, and looked at my phone as I received a text message. Therefore, in an effort to multi-task, I had to watch the video a second time to get a full understanding of what James had to say. I found the second time watching it much more rewarding as I connected and could relate to many of the things that he was talking about.
“To be full present on the internet at any given moment is a very rare thing”
I will fully admit that I struggle with this all of the time when I am writing blog posts for this class and many other tasks. As Sunday is often my day to work on my master’s classes, it usually goes something like this. I’ll wake up in the morning, pour open some coffee, and review the blog prompt for the week. I’ll start to write my post, open up a few articles, which then leads me to totally changing my topics and ideas. Stop for a break and read CBC News. Go to Twitter to see what’s happening on the ECI833 hashtag, quick political update (This can be quite entertaining), and finally make it back to the blog post. I’ll spend a few minutes writing my blog post and then realize I haven’t checked my NFL fantasy rosters for the day. Spend a considerable amount of time checking weekly rankings and updating my rosters before I head back to the blog post. At some point, I will likely pull up my Planbook (Great digital planner) to see what I am doing in school next week. I will then open up our school OneNote notebook to read the weekly memo. By now, I’m sure you know what I’m getting at. So with all of this “multi-taking”, my blog posts takes a considerably longer amount of time to complete. Although some aspects of multi-tasking make the blog posts much stronger (Embedding videos, linking to others, and including articles), I wonder how much of my time I lose by doing all of that other stuff. To sum it up. I think I could do a much better job of focusing on one task at a time. Or better yet, to block out those things that aren’t pressing or crucial to complete at a particular time.
This week’s presentation on productivity and presentation tools was a great picture of the evolution of these tools. In my personal teaching practice, there are many tools that I use that I believe increase my productivity. A few tools I use include;
Planbook: I personally love using a digital planner. Although you have to pay for Planbook (Around $20/year), I definitely think it’s worth it. Planbook keeps a record and history of all of my day plans. I currently have five years worth of plans that I can go back and reference at any point. In addition, I can insert links, documents, and anything else that will be needed for teaching a lesson. In addition, there is an app you can download to your phone. This allows me to reference daily plans, supervision schedules, or anything else that I might need throughout the day. Similar to Planbook, you can use Planboard for free.
Seesaw: I have really enjoyed using Seesaw over the last few years. Prior to using Seesaw, I had a classroom blog, student blogs, and various other creation tools. I believe that Seesaw definitely increases my productivity for a few reasons. For one, it has so many tools built into one resource. Instead of using 10 different applications, you can do so many things on one tool. It works as a source of communication with parents, student portfolio, creation tool, and allows teachers to give feedback on student work. Students can also upload pictures, documents, or any other projects to this tool. Although there are some things that I wish were slightly better on Seesaw, it provides tremendous benefits for my students and I.
OneNote/Office 365: Classroom OneNote has been extremely beneficial to me as a teacher. This tool serves as the “digital binder” for my students. OneNote allows me to easily distribute assignment to students in there notebooks. When using OneNote, you can use a combination of text, videos, images, and pretty much anything else. I also have the ability to see student work at any given time. In addition, I can provide written feedback right on their assignments (The touch screen laptop is very helpful!)
Overall, I think that the internet provides incredible opportunities for productivity. The biggest challenge is finding ways to maintain focus and block out the distractions. The idea of single-tasking is quite intriguing and something I need to try and implement into my work habit.