Sunday, October 05, 2014

The New and Less Than Exciting World of E-Paperwork

Excessive paperwork may have been the bane of yesterday's teachers.  Today, we seem more threatened by e-paperwork.  Teachers are being asked to input more and more data despite the contract points relating to this issue.  I have been asked to digitally document all parental contact.  Although I keep my entries vague and brief for purposes of student privacy, the task takes twice the time.  Not only do I need to figure out who to contact and then make the contacts, but I must also now make a dated, time-specific record and enter it online on any available computer.  I spend two periods a week on parental outreach.  Typically, one day, I make the contacts.  The other day, I create the data entries.   This is not what I signed up for as a teacher.

In my opinion, this is more frustrating than the old-fashioned paperwork.  Some teachers, however, do it by choice.  They input all homework grades and test grades.  I understand its benefits but I have concerns.  First, it seems so easy to make a mistake when inputting so much data.  And, second, the inputting of the data in itself may become more important than the teacher's work of actually reading student papers, making corrections and offering suggestions for improvement.   There is only a limited amount of time in any given day and, if it is being spent on data entry, it is probably not being used in other pursuits, more central to the role of the teacher.  I'd prefer not to feel like one of the bobble heads pictured above.
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