How Technology Teaches Students Time Management

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photo credit: jodigreen via photopin cc

photo credit: jodigreen via photopin cc

 

How many times during the school year do you see the following case in your classroom?

Homework is assigned with a due date a week or two in the future. An intelligent student is present for your instruction on the assignment; you know she had the opportunity to understand the timeline. The student puts the assignment off until late hours of the night, typically 1-3 days before the project is due. Because of this procrastination, the work doesn’t meet the potential this student has. Maybe parents have even complained to you that you assign too much homework and they don’t have time to complete it.

Modern software like Edmodo, Schoology, Trello, and other education applications give teachers the opportunity to structure assignments so that students can practice time management strategies.

Time management is the root of this problem and it’s much more common than most school systems acknowledge. It affects both the students who struggle to pass a class and those who get A’s. Devices like iPhones, iPods, and tablets, aren’t making time management any easier on our youth, because many educators are not maximizing their potential.

Here’s where these habits show up later in life: technology erodes work-home boundaries for millions of students and parents, who fail to understand how to use it to help with time management. Mobile phone technology, advanced web applications, cloud computing, and other innovations open the door for work mixed seamlessly outside of school with family activities. However, bad habits, like checking social media for hours and spending even more time on interactive games, regularly take away from precious quality time that could be used on that previously-mentioned longterm homework assignment and on family activities.

Shouldn’t we be equipping the future generation with the skills and tools to manage these life boundaries in a world of advanced gadgets?

How the Technology Can Help

It may be a new idea that teachers can actually harness technology to help teach students how to navigate the boundaries between school and home. Tech-savvy teachers and school administrative boards can and should use modern technology to create helpful boundaries that reinforce time management to.

A study completed by students working on masters in applied behavior analysis, psychology doctorates, and other related degrees at the University of Cincinnati indicates that professionals use three strategies when using technology to manage work-home boundaries:

  • Collocation – being physically present in one domain while cognitively and behaviorally engaged in two different domains
  • Distancing – turning off gadgets and making technology unavailable while physically present in one domain
  • Crossing – using technology as an aid for transitioning from one domain to another (i.e. reviewing work emails after the kids are in bed).

Schools should help children master each of these strategies that professionals use to better manage time. Practicing the skills in the classroom will help students improve time management at home.

Websites like Edmodo, Schoology, Trello, and other education applications give teachers the opportunity to structure assignments so that students can practice time management strategies.

Above all, teachers should emphasize that time management is a priority for success in class. When teachers highlight the importance of time management and provide opportunities for success, students will soon build this crucial life skill.

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Hannah Whittenly

A freelance writer and mother of two, Hannah graduated from the University of California-Sacramento with a degree in Journalism. She writes for small businesses and educational institutions about a variety of topics.

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