If you’re a teacher, it’s worthwhile to explore ways to help your students become more immersed in the educational experience. Regardless of the age groups that you focus on, computers are an excellent way to expand learning beyond the classroom walls, particularly if your students can use them at home. Even if they don’t have internet access where they live, libraries and other community centers often have computers with internet access that can be used free of charge.
Distribute Papers in an Environmentally Friendly Way
The class syllabus is one of the mostly highly sought items that your students will receive. That simple sheet of paper breaks down your grading policies, discusses class assignments and lays out the attendance policy. If you have a syllabus that spans across multiple pages, and you need to print out dozens of copies, that’s a task that requires significant amounts of supplies, not to mention your spare time.
Consider going electronic by sharing relevant information through a secure FTP alternative. These services allow you to send items directly to your recipients quickly and seamlessly via e-mail. Almost everyone has e-mail these days, and if any of your students don’t, many services offer free accounts that they can sign up for in minutes. The method of sending class files through e-mail also reduces the likelihood that your students will lose the documents. Even if they do opt to print out a paper copy on their own, you can encourage them to save a copy of the file on their hard drive, too.
Group projects are a big part of many classrooms, especially at the high school and university level. Sometimes, you might find that your students need encouragement from you to kickstart their own efforts. In those cases, you can think about uploading a few video or image files that tie into the class project and giving everyone the credentials needed to access the file. Then, they’ll use it to spark their inspiration.
Many services that offer the ability to share files with others through e-mail also let you store files on a secure server. This frees up space on your own hard drive, and can also be really handy if you normally teach several classes per semester. By simply creating folders for each class and sharing them with each participant, you can keep all your essential files in an easily accessible place. They can only be accessed by people who have the proper login credentials, and you can sometimes even sign up to get alerts about the frequency with which people are logging in to get the files.
After you’ve been teaching a particular class for several years, you’ll likely find that although you do make a few small changes from time to time, most of the foundational information stays the same. If you have a few students who are balking at the idea of doing a group project, or seem uncertain about what you’re asking of them, it might be wise to use a file storage service to compile past projects from students who’ve received a good grade. Make it clear that plagiarism is never acceptable, but there’s nothing wrong with seeing some of the ways that other students have succeeded.
Teaching can be tough at times, but it’s usually very rewarding. Use some of the ideas above to streamline your ideas and make your classroom more productive.
Author info: Sisily West writes for tech blogs where you can read more about secure ftp