When you’re a teacher, waking up feeling like you lost an hour happens more than once every spring for daylight savings.
I was inspired at an EdCamp recently where I met dozens of educators fired up about curiosity and how important it is to bring more of it into their day-to-day learning experiences. At the apex of our discussion, I asked: “so what is it keeping any of you from doing this starting today?” Everyone shouted out the same: “time!”
Teachers are already pressed for time: time for lesson planning, time for assessment/grading, time for giving valuable feedback, time to integrate technology in meaningful ways. So, few things hit harder than finding out you have a “new” thing to do, learn, read, write, grade, plan, prep…
Time to do something new (even if it is fun, exciting, and useful), is rarely on the schedule. Our journey here at Belouga has brought together educators from around the world to discuss this and understand how we can utilize technology to actually save teachers time, while implementing global education and collaboration. This is why the Belouga Builder was created. Here’s what we found:
- Stronger Relationships with Your Students: Genuine learning requires genuine relationships. Genuine relationships take time. How does an educator establish genuine relationships with dozens of students every year? Effective communication. Designing series and episodes using the Belouga Builder provides you with a tool to: listen and get to know your students from their responses, provide one-to-one feedback on those responses, and create additional series and episodes that reflects their interests, thereby letting them know you are listening to and care about them. Content you create on Belouga is not only meant to be shared with the World; it’s meant to make the most of the time and relationships you have with the students in your classroom, as well.
- Builder Ease: It would be missing the point to say: “if you can drag a cursor, you can create content on Belouga.” True, the mechanics behind building with the Belouga Builder are seriously simple, but the beauty is in the minds of the contributors. Any time wasted with clunky tech or hard-to-understand functions is time you could be better serving your students (and yourself). The technical simplicity of the Belouga Builder doesn’t only keep from wasting your time, it saves you time by getting you from your most innovative ideas to engaging learning experiences for your students in a flash.
- Lesson Planning: Perhaps, the biggest waste of time in the history of teaching. There, I said it. Most time spent lesson planning ends up being time wasted. The Belouga Builder, however, turns it into time invested. Instead of creating a lesson you hope hits with some of your students while you “manage” the rest, you can capture your entire class with content you create by connecting it directly to the curiosity of your class–along with your class objectives. And, instead of taking a “teach and wonder” approach to the effectiveness of your lessons, you receive valuable feedback on everything you create, so you can upgrade based on what is resonating most with students. In doing so, creating content with the Belouga Builder saves you time by creating your classroom experiences of tomorrow, today.
- Travel: How long would it take for you to get your entire class to Kenya? You can get there in a click on Elizabeth Tipape’s “Four Days in Mombasa.” But that’s only half the trip. Once you start sharing your own series and episodes you create, Elizabeth’s classes will have a return ticket to your classroom.
Now, it takes you little time at all to connect with an educator in Kenya and start creating lessons specifically designed for your students, not to mention, contributing to your own professional learning opportunities.
What are you waiting for?