4 min read
Pronto is designed to help teachers save time and enhance their overall connection with their students. Unfortunately, it can also quickly become overwhelming. Notifications may pop up regularly, pulling you back into a “work” mindset even when you’re trying to get some distance at the end of the day. You may find yourself quickly getting overwhelmed by the sheer volume of chat messages coming in, especially when students are working hard on a specific project.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep track of the communications on Pronto without getting overwhelmed.
1. Set hours when you may not be available.
The goal of Pronto is to help enhance communication between students and teachers–but not to the extent that you should feel like you have to be glued to your phone. Let your students know that there are times when you will be more available than others. You may want to set specific hours when they will know ahead of time that you will check-in, or let them know that you’ll be less likely to check the app after a certain time. You have the right to log off and take time to relax at the end of your workday, too–and while you want to be available to your students, especially during difficult periods or as big deadlines approach, you don’t want it to cut into your private life.
2. Mute notifications from groups or chats when needed.
You can always mute notifications from the program as a whole or as they come in from specific groups and chats. For example, suppose that you have assigned a group project, and at least one group is using Pronto to the fullest extent, chatting back and forth, sharing information, and keeping track of how they all participate. You want to be able to go back and check their discussions later so that you can easily see how each student contributed, but you may also not want those notifications coming in constantly. The good news is, they don’t have to! You can simply mute those specific notifications, then go back and check them later. You can also mute chats when students engage in an off-topic discussion that you don’t need to participate in.
3. Pay attention to the notifications in your app.
When your notifications come in, look at the color. If they’re red, you have been mentioned. If they’re gray, on the other hand, you haven’t.
Many of the communications taking place in Pronto are between students, and may not need your input. For example, students who are working on a project together may not need your input into their discussions. Likewise, you may find that students who are asking questions like, “Who has started on X project?” or, “Has anyone done the homework?” may not need an answer directly from you. On the other hand, a communication that starts out with, “Mrs. Brown, I have a question about…” could need your immediate attention, and you may want to prioritize that answer when you open the app.
Let your students know that if they want your attention, they should use your name in the communication. That way, you’ll be able to prioritize the communications you really need to answer first each time you open the app.
4. Invite students to help.
If you have an active, engaged learning community, you may find it incredibly beneficial to invite your students to help maintain communication and support throughout your learning community. Often, your students already have the answers to questions asked by their peers. Sometimes, it’s simple.
The syllabus is stored in the documents or files section under “Syllabus.”
The homework for tonight is an essay on X.
The lab was, in fact, canceled for Monday.
Many of those questions, your students can answer for one another. Let them know that it’s all right for them to do exactly that! A vibrant learning community can help support one another and take some of that weight off of your shoulders. Not only will it help you feel less overwhelmed, you may find that it helps students feel like a more involved, critical part of the learning community.
Platforms like Pronto have made it possible for teachers to be more connected to their students than ever before, whether they’re unable to attend class in person or simply have questions as they’re trying to handle projects and homework after school. However, that does not necessarily mean that teachers have to stay connected all the time. With these strategies, you can avoid becoming overwhelmed and make better use of the platform as you communicate with your students.
Want to learn more about the benefits of Pronto and how it can help you? Contact us for a free demo.