How To Use Technology To Mark, Plan And Teach


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Holly Gardner

Holly Gardner is TT Editor, as well as a Freelance Publisher. She has been working with @TeacherToolkit for over 6 years - since she published his first book in her role as Senior Commissioning Editor at Bloomsbury Publishing. Since then, she left her day job,... Read more about Holly Gardner

How can technology make teachers’ lives that bit easier?

The best teaching is simple, yet powerful, with the best learning technology tools available to support this: making teaching manageable and student learning more effective.

Here’s how technology can support you to mark, plan and teach more effectively.

Mark.

Understanding that “marking is a continuum between teacher and student, and student and teacher”, it is useful to establish strategies for effective feedback. Technology can certainly help here.

While tried and tested techniques such as triple marking have a purpose, most time-pressed teachers would agree that the process is a headache and a workload burden. Instead, the most useful strategies can save teachers time and help to maximise student learning outcomes. ‘Yellow box’ marking anyone?

The Unio Teaching Platform is a way of taking formative assessment to the next level. Created to support and embed assessment at every stage of  student’s learning, offering powerful feedback tools, two-way annotations and quizzes and polls that are automatically marked! Unio is an interactive presentation and formative assessment tool, designed with best pedagogical practice in mind.  

Forget lugging home books bags filled with student work only to be returned after the task has been forgotten, we now know this isn’t necessarily the best use of our time. Instead, Unio has taken Teacher Toolkit’s ‘live marking’ suggestion and built it into the product. The result? Students benefit from speedy feedback and teachers benefit from an evening unburdened by marking piles!

Most agree that the most effective marking should be timely, meaningful and part of a motivational dialogue. Unio teachers comment on student work in real-time in a way that suits them – whether that’s through live written feedback, a quick smiley-faced emoji – or a gently encouraging “not yet” with a suggested area for development, as researched throughout Mark. Plan. Teach.

Plan.

Technology now plays a valuable role in medium and long-term collaborative planning processes within many schools. Since Unio lessons are retained on the teacher dashboard with all related student annotations and quiz results, teachers can quickly refer back to past lessons at any point, using these learning records to inform future planning.

Teachers say that Unio technology makes it easy to plan individual lessons from the outset, quickly building content with a thought-provoking video clip, URL, image, poll or interactive quiz.

Alternatively, those of us with a bank of tried and tested favourites, lovingly refined over the years, might prefer to upload existing resources on to Unio. It can be as easy as uploading your favourite PowerPoint to experience afresh, with shared, interactive screens.

Teach.

Designed for use in environments where there are laptops, tablets or desktops, Unio is based around shared, online screens between the teacher and students. Teachers can annotate modelled work in real-time, showcase their screen to the class and observe as students interact with their learning. Live marking anyone?

According to Christina Bury, Director of Learning at Felsted Preparatory School, Unio’s interactive features create a “buzz and excitement about learning” stemming from the connectedness and relationships between student and teacher.

Unio teachers continually adapt their lessons to meet the needs of their learners, and can identify any points of muddiness at a glance. If, for instance, the teacher’s overview suggests that most of the class are struggling to work out the electron configuration of calcium, they might decide that some ‘re-teaching’ is needed. Unio allows to re-visit any past lessons with the click of a button.

Most of all, Unio allows teachers to teach in a way that makes sense for them. Designed for teachers in close collaboration with the Harness teacher tech board, Unio is a versatile product designed to support front-of-class, blended or flipped approaches. Simply put, Unio technology supports teachers to Mark. Plan. Teach.

Simple but powerful.

If you are interested in seeing how Unio can help you to #MarkPlanTeach, then sign up for a free account and try it for yourself today.

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