Some say that the college provides everything a student needs – I agree however I feel that there are ways that the tutor can assist the learners in their organisation and well being, adding something to the policies and run of the mill cannot provide.
Since I am teaching the ‘new’ Pearson BTEC Level 1 Digital and Computing Technologies course, I could argue that the curriculum does skew my thinking here; however there are other motives for my actions at this stage.
In a nutshell, I have created a new Gmail account, inputted the student timetables into individual calendars, and shared them to the students. This achieves a number of things:
- Students are up to date with where they are meant to be
- Students are up to date with when they are meant to be there
- The whole class has access to assignment deadlines
- Out of hours assignments (homework) can be set independent of regular contact time
- Other events (such as freshers fair, extra curricular activities, other events of interest)
- If there are any urgent notices, such as room changes and so forth, students are more able to access this information (relying on students checking college email accounts is not as reliable as one would hope)
- Students can show this calendar to family and friends, allowing them more flexibility in planning their personal life) – Term dates are easy to input and are massively useful to students.
All these things are pretty obvious – the fact of the matter are few teachers in my department doing this at the moment. There are systems in place that students can access, however nothing comes close the the ease of use that Google’s systems have.