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Integrating Technology in Instruction, Preparation, and Evaluation

By Amanda Bird and Samuel Landete
Integrating Technology in Instruction, Preparation, and Evaluation

At times, technology integration is a term that can seem obtuse. When implemented without purpose, it can lead to ineffective engagement and loss of time for educators and students alike. However, if implemented effectively, technology integration can have positive effects on saving educators instruction, preparation, and evaluation time. Not only is maximizing instruction, preparation, and evaluation time of the essence, but when technology is effectively integrated in the classroom, it can help educators foster a more actively engaged and collaborative classroom environment with students. Research supports that achievement increases with instruction time (Rivkin and Schiman 2015) and that instruction time positively and significantly affects test scores, especially in schools that implement accountability measures (Lavy 2015). 

This two-part series will explore different strategies that can help educators and students effectively implement technology aligned with learning objectives. In this article, we will look at the following strategies:

Time Saving Strategies








Small Group Discussion Recordings




Saving Comments/Feedback in Google Docs




Voice Notes/Recordings to leave feedback





Auto-assessed evaluations




Flip (Formerly Flipgrid): for presentations

Students still need to practice their presentation, speaking, and listening skills; however, having students present during class time can take several periods, and student engagement during these presentations is not always as active as educators hope. So, how do teachers cultivate ways for students to practice their presentation and speaking skills, while at the same time honing their active listening skills? Integrating Flip to practice these skills has proven to save time and encourage more active engagement from students. Furthermore, Flip is “designed to empower learners and facilitate collaboration and social learning between students” (Stoszkowski 2018). This active engagement from the students’ perspective - whether the student is in elementary, middle, or high school - stems from the fact that Flip’s platform itself is quite similar to those of different social media, like TikTok, Snapchat, FaceTime, or Instagram, where students post videos, and like/comment the videos of their peers (Miller, McIntyre, Lindt 2020). With Flip, educators first create a group, and then share the group information through Google Classroom. Flip has an embedded feature that directly connects to an educator’s Google Classroom account. Within the Flip group, the educator adds a topic, which acts as the assignment, and makes any necessary adjustments like the description of the task and the maximum length of the recording. Instead of presenting in class, students record themselves (either individually, with partners, or as a group), and upload their videos to the assigned topic. Once all videos are uploaded, an extension of the actual presentation and speaking task could be for peers to listen to a specific quantity of presentations, leave critical feedback for improvement, and comment on what was done well. To avoid exclusion here, it may be necessary to assign students peers’ work that should be viewed and provided with feedback. 

There are a myriad of advantages to integrating Flip for presentation and speaking tasks. The first and foremost is the amount of class time that is saved. The saved class time can instead be dedicated to new learning or deepening previous learning. To put this into perspective, in an average middle-high school class of 45 minutes, if there are 25 students in the lesson (which for many school districts is on the low side of total students in a class), and each presentation is just five minutes, the total class periods needed to go through each presentation live would be approximately three, providing short transition time between presentations. However, if class periods are shorter or there are more students in the lesson, that is even more class time lost. What could you do with an additional three class periods? Could lessons be redesigned to focus on presentation, speaking, and listening skills through different strategies? Could students collaborate, practice, and work with thought partners to improve their work before uploading their presentations? Time can further be saved with Flip by placing time limits on students’ responses. Placing time limits saves educators time with evaluations and encourages students to communicate effectively and be more concise with their responses (Stoszkowski 2018).

Recordings: for small group discussions

The value of discussing and debating topics with peers is immense. Through these discussions, not only do students practice their speaking and listening skills, but they also need to think critically on the spot in order to respond appropriately to their peers. Small group discussions lead students to be clear and precise speakers because they want to be understood by their peers (Frazin and Wischow 2020). Additionally, they provide students with the opportunity to synthesize each other’s ideas and deepen their learning. Because this is such a valuable skill, it is essential that students are provided time to practice and to use different strategies. However, in order for an educator to listen to each small group discussion, only one group can discuss at a time, while the rest of the class listens attentively. This could take up to two class periods just for the small group discussions to take place. What if only one class period were needed for students to both prepare and complete the small group discussion?

By having students record their small group discussions (either with video or audio) with their phones, tablets, or laptops, educators can save time in class. In the same class period, students could also take the time to prepare for the small group discussions using their notes and necessary texts. Effectively using in-class time will also ensure students’ work upholds a school’s academic integrity policies and encourages more active participation by all students in the group.

Google Docs: for saving comments/feedback

Comment banks provide students with better quality feedback while also reducing teacher workload (Webb, 2016). Just as teachers use shorthand symbols to save time and avoid writing the same comment (punctuation, capitalization, etc.) when assessing handwritten or printed work, they can create their own comment bank in Google Classroom and give detailed feedback with just a few clicks. Saved comments can be invoked with the hashtag symbol. Similar results can be achieved using Quick Parts and AutoText in Microsoft Word.

Voice Notes/Recordings: for leaving feedback

Related to the last topic, there are several options available to record oral feedback, like mote for Google Workspace, audio and video comments for Microsoft 365, and insert recorded audio on a Mac or iPad on Pages or Keynote. This saves time and makes both the content and connection more personal. The voice tone can also help reduce possible misunderstandings derived from text responses, and there is an added bonus of inclusion since students with reading comprehension challenges can fully benefit from the feedback. Additionally, studies have shown that audio feedback can provide more detail, contain fewer words associated with negative emotions, and be less time-consuming than written feedback (Nemec and Dintzner, 2016).

Auto-Assessed Evaluations

Both Google Forms and Microsoft Forms allow for questions to be automatically assessed, creating the perfect pre-assessment that can give instant information to the teacher just before the topic is started or provide a formative assessment that students can take anywhere, anytime, and get instant, automatic feedback on their knowledge. The only time it takes from the teacher is to prepare the formative quiz once, and then it can be reused over and over. There is research that supports that continuous evaluation of the students increases learning (Rubio-Escudero et al. 2018).


While it may seem like integrating technology in the classroom has already become part of the everyday routine for many, the way educators implement it will determine how effective its use actually is. In the concluding part of this series, we will explore additional technological tools and resources that help educators with instruction, preparation, and evaluation time. 



Andersen, M. A. Asynchronous discussion forums: success factors, outcomes, assessments, and limitations. Educational Technology & Society, 12 (1), 249–257. 2009.

Frazin, S. and Wischow, K. Unlocking the Power of Classroom Talk: Teaching Kids to Talk with Clarity and Purpose. Heinemann, 2020.

He, Wenliang, et al. “The Effects of Flipped Instruction on out-of-Class Study Time, Exam Performance, and Student Perceptions.” Learning and Instruction, vol. 45, 2016, pp. 61–71., Accessed 13 February 2023.

Klein, L. “Auto-Évaluation : Daily Self-Assessment in the FSL Classroom.” Canadian Modern Language Review, 2023, Accessed 16 Feb. 2023.

Klentzin, Jacqueline C. “Pecha Kucha: Using “Lightning Talk” in University Instruction | Emerald Insight.” Reference Services Review, vol. 38, no. 1, 2013, pp. 158–167,, Accessed 16 Feb. 2023.

‌Lavy, Victor. “Do Differences in Schools’ Instruction Time Explain International Achievement Gaps? Evidence from Developed and Developing Countries.” The Economic Journal, vol. 125, no. 588, 1 Nov. 2015, pp. F397–F424,, 10.1111/ecoj.12233. Accessed 19 Jan. 2023.

Miller, Stacia C., et al. “Engaging Technology in Elementary School: Flipgrid’s Potential.” Childhood Education, vol. 96, no. 3, 2020, pp. 62–69., Accessed 16 February 2023.

Nemec, Eric C., and Dintzner, Matthew. “Comparison of Audio versus Written Feedback on Writing Assignments.” Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning, vol. 8, no. 2, Mar. 2016, pp. 155–159,, 10.1016/j.cptl.2015.12.009. Accessed 3 Feb. 2023.

Rivkin, Steven G., and Schiman, Jeffrey C.. “Instruction Time, Classroom Quality, and Academic Achievement.” The Economic Journal, vol. 125, no. 588, 1 Nov. 2015, pp. F425–F448,, 10.1111/ecoj.12315. Accessed 19 Jan. 2023.

Rubio-Escudero, C., et al. “Impact of Auto-Evaluation Tests as Part of the Continuous Evaluation in Programming Courses.” Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, 7 June 2018, pp. 553–561,, Accessed 16 Feb. 2023.

Stoszkowski, John. “Using Flipgrid to Develop Social Learning.” Compass: Journal of Learning and Teaching, vol. 11, no. 2, 2018, Accessed 16 February 2023.

Webb, Helen. “Effective Student Feedback: Creating and Using Comment Banks.”, 28 Sept. 2016, Accessed 16 Feb. 2023.


Amanda Bird is the Director of Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum at the American School of Valencia.

Email: [email protected]
X: @amandarbird

Samuel Landete is the Innovation and Technology Director at the American School of Valencia.

Email: [email protected]
X: @slandete

American School of Valenci in, Valencia, Spain
X: @asvtweets

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