As world education resorts to distance learning, automating the classroom is indeed the new normal. The efforts of educational institutions to bridge the gap in this rapid change are greatly supported by simplified technology. Because of this, it has also opened doors to continuously break free from a one-size-fits-all approach to education. Schools choose to automate educational processes to achieve a more productive learning environment.
If there are people who will benefit the most in automated classrooms, they will be both the teachers and the students. Since the wide application of ed-tech, the Education Departments across the world continue to experiment and innovate.
With automated systems, schools can eliminate the overwhelming paperwork and repetitive tasks of tracking class attendance and checking student homework. Maximizing the online class time using online attendance and homework is one of the goals of a modern student information system. In line with this, schools shall provide their teachers with in-depth training to grasp adept knowledge about remote learning technologies.
So, how can teachers automate attendance and homework in their online classrooms? Here are some target questions we hope to give answers with this article:
- How can teachers, students, and parents benefit from automated classrooms?
- How can teachers streamline the educational process of tracking attendance and homework?
- What are the available attendance and homework systems?
The Perks of Automated Classrooms
Automated classrooms can save time for teachers without the need for manual attendance monitoring. Online homework systems also lift the burden of retrieving hardcopies. The teachers can be more focused on their core job to prepare lessons and teach without delaying the start of the instructional period.
Online classroom systems allow students to secure their attendance in real-time with the digitized dates and time stamps. It encourages students to be more aware of punctuality and diligence as they are in remote learning. It also accounts for improved responses to homework since recording is automated.
With automated classrooms and school systems, parents can also be active participants in ensuring student’s attendance. They can easily receive notifications about their child’s performance in online classes. Parents are involved in the workflow for discipline in terms of student attendance and homework as all of these are communicated.
Ways to Automate Teacher’s Record of Student Attendance and Homework
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1. Allow Students to Self-Report in Electronic Time Sheets
Teachers can let the students take ownership of their project-working hours. The class can benefit from an established time allocation system in completing different tasks. It encourages students to clock in for their assignments and specify their start time and end time. Teachers can facilitate all the working progress and task lists of students in the electronic timesheets.
All data entry is subject to the teacher’s approval where changes can be made regularly or weekly. The time and attendance system both have web and mobile app options for user’s easy access. Regardless of the device, they choose to time in, the electronic timesheets will match the teacher’s record. It gives useful data for student performance and their productivity levels.
2. Take Advantage of Google Forms
Another automation strategy for teachers to use is Google Forms. This feature in the G-Suite for Education allows teachers to create a custom attendance management system. Side by side with Google Sheets, Google Forms can also be adapted as a tracking system for attendance.
This works once all the students check in to class by confirming their attendance upon submitting the form. The teachers should share the link via Google Classroom for student access. Although its normal functionality is for conducting surveys and retrieving important data, the student only needs to click the ‘submit’ button for their attendance confirmation.
Instead of the manual registration of student attendance in every class, the data from Google Forms automatically reflect the teacher’s spreadsheet. In addition to this, teachers can also obtain data insights from integrating a remote attendance system.
3. Encourage Class Participation via Short Quiz/Poll after the Lesson
Another use of Google Forms in terms of automating the classroom is by conducting a short quiz or poll after the lessons.
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In online classes, there may be slim chances that all students speak during the video call. As important as it is, oral recitation can be time-consuming for the virtual class. As an alternate method to make online classes more interactive, the teacher can opt to engage students with a post-lesson activity.
After each lesson, the teacher can encourage students to answer a brief quiz regarding the lesson that has just been taught. This can be a strategy to track the students who actively participated during the class. Moreover, the quiz itself can be recorded as an assignment since homework is intended to be a brief one and a follow-up in this matter.
The teacher should include questions based on the recent topic in summing up their class for the day. Asking for feedback using the poll can also be used as a diagnosis on which part of the lesson the students needed more clarification about. All these data from the student’s answers are automatically directed to the teacher’s use.
4. Keep Doing Manual Attendance
This might be quite the opposite but a manual management system for attendance and homework is still believed as essential. When all else fails, teachers can always turn back the use of their traditional system of encoding their class records.
As advantageous as the automated systems, there can be times when a manual record will come in handy. There’s no need to purchase management software that can save costs on their end. Besides, traditional attendance tracking and homework records are familiar and easy to implement and use.
Finally, it can serve as a backup for power outages which is a vulnerability for the automated management system. With this, the teachers can still retrieve relevant data when tracking student attendance.
5. Make Use of a School Management System
School management systems don’t limit themselves to administrative tasks. Moreover, they feature classroom automation like attendance and homework management systems.
The school can reap a lot more benefits in automating the classrooms in comparison to the manual systems. Most school management systems significantly boost accuracy as all data are automatically recorded. Since the attendance and grade management are digitized, it accurate results and data insights.
With an intuitive interface of classroom automation, teachers can have better student management. Attendance monitoring and homework retrieval using SMS will result in greater emphasis on student’s learning time with the teacher.
During the face-to-face school setup, school management systems approach to attendance tracking is through the radio frequency identification technology (RFID). It has aimed to increase student safety during class hours. This is purposefully done with student biometrics in valuable real-time visibility.
The teachers can still make use of this catch through the Positive Attendance Method. This allows students to check in with their virtual classrooms from any given location and mark themselves present. Instead of teachers recording their time-in, this encourages them to self-report in electronic timesheets instead. (See Point#1)
Below are some of the school management systems for attendance and homework that teachers can use to automate their classrooms:
School Management Systems for Attendance and Homework
Another school management software is GoSchooler wherein teachers can get instant student attendance. This keeps the school management like attendance tracking and homework monitoring on track and effective. It helps teachers plan the day according to schedule updates.
On top of its RFID-based system attendance tracker offering, GoSchooler has software that effectively manages the daily attendance of each virtual classroom. Moreover, GoSchooler offers a module for keeping track records of homework and projects while maintaining progress reports accurately. GoSchooler is focused on providing the best educational experience possible for both the students and teachers may it be in web and mobile apps.
2. Top Hat
Screenshot from Top Hat
Top Hat provides automatic grading and reporting attendance for teachers. Their teacher’s app encourages students for class participation by conducting polls and asking questions. In addition, the app captures the student responses in real-time.
Top Hat helps teachers for prompting students to sign in on devices using a unique code and auto-assign grades for attendance. Also, it automatically assigns grading weight to participation, as well as interactive questions for homework. Teachers then can upload the results from each class directly to the Top Hat grade book. All relevant data, responses, and grades can be accessed at any time (with the permission of the respective teacher).
3. Campus Dean
Screenshot from Campus Dean
Campus Dean features a combination of software and device for taking attendance. Campus Dean is a functional school ERP with an online attendance module that is robust and customizable by the teachers. The actual feature includes the use of RFID cards/tags or biometric sensors for attendance solutions. The digital system recognizes data from the RFID and biometrics that are updated directly on the management software.
Campus Dean’s teacher’s app has a complete student list wherein students are present by default. Upon the attendance checking, the roll-call will be easier as the teacher can only deselect the tick option beside the student’s name if the child is absent. On the other hand, the parent’s app instantly notifies the parents of their child’s attendance through message alerts. This can also be utilized in homework checking as reflected in the classroom’s timetable management.
Screenshot from Atcovation
Last on the list is Atcovation’s intelligent features for attendance and homework automation. Atcovation lets teachers mark attendance and generate reports about student homework. The app also enhances communication between the teachers and parents about the student’s progress. They allow both students and parents to view class schedules and daily timetables in accordance with the teacher’s copy. This way, both ends coincide with the student task and attendance records. The school mobile app of Atcovation connects the teachers, school management, students, and parents through their single app.
What is the advantage of automating attendance tracking?
How is automation affecting the education system?
Getting evidence-based records by automating the classrooms is now possible. When teachers automate the educational processes of attendance and homework, it gives them more time for the main job of facilitating students.
The purpose of classroom automation and technology involvement is far from computers replacing teachers in their job. It enhances the workflow in everyday virtual classes as an innovative opportunity for productivity.
Nevertheless, enduring the changes in digitized education have not neglected to center the school objectives for the students. Due to this, remote learning and online classrooms require digital skills from the teachers.