NEW FREE ICT TOOLS TO MANAGE TUTORING AND SCHEDULE MEETINGS. A SIMPLE CASE OF APPLICATION TO TEACHING
University of Zaragoza (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:Schedule a meeting and agree a group of people on one day and one time can become a problem. It can lead to endless sent and received emails messages. Generally these messages are of the type "I can tomorrow at 08:00", while the other part points out "I am busy at that time" or "how about at 11:30?". So sometimes organizing a meeting between several people can be complicated and hard. Frequently there is no time to personally attend a tutorial, or to meet all the members of a group in one place to develop a particular task. Nowadays there are many tools that help to set the meeting time without the usual many email messages between the different parts. In addition these resources can interact with the users’ activity schedule, which allows a saving of time and a better managing. Undoubtedly the use of this kind of tools is very helpful.
Today, no one argues that the introduction of ICT in education has provided many advantages and benefits. The introduction of technology in the classrooms has allowed to change the way of interacting with the information and contents. In all its variants, educational technologies are being a valuable instrument for teaching. It is also necessary to gather the large number of applications that exist in the market destined to these aims. Finally a detailed analysis has been developed to select the most useful and effective ones. With the use of them a more interactive learning has been sought to achieve. The use of these tools has had an obvious impact on students and their educational process in general.
YouCanBook.Me, SimpleBook.Me, Assistant.to, Wiggio, Doodle, Boomerang Calendar, Calendly, Vyte.in, Meet-o-Matic are free tools that allow to schedule meetings. These applications are simple, straightforward and easy to use. They usually allow you to work synchronously and bi-directionally with Google Calendar and Outlook.com. This allows group coordination and avoids conflicts of calendars easily. The sending of messages or reminders from the application to the different assistants makes this type of tools very versatile. However and surprisingly they are not yet very widespread.
The University professor must to attend to the usual tutorials (commonly more concentrated in the exams periods), sometimes to the orientation of the students of first year (Tutor Program), tutoring of academic works, direction of Final Year Projects, Master Dissertations, and PhD Theses, project management, as well as different teaching coordination meetings.
This experience has been put into practice during the academic year 2016/17 in several subjects from different degrees of engineering. In this way it emphasizes its multidisciplinary character. The use of these applications has facilitated the teacher´s work, optimizing the waiting time of students in the case of tutorials. Thereby, scheduling, managing and organizing the different appointments or meetings between teacher and students are done instantly and almost automatically. Among the conclusions obtained, it is worth to mention the increase in the satisfaction and motivation of the students, emphasizing the importance of the tutorials on the formative evaluation. The different tools for the reservation of tutorials have been evaluated according to their applicability. All the tools described have facilitated the achievement of the initial goals, from their real and massive use by students using their own smartphones to the use and manage of the software by teachers.
Keywords: Free ICT tools, Activity schedule, YouCanBook.Me, Time management, Doodle, Google Calendar, Student planning.