After becoming a teacher it became pretty clear that no one outside of education can understand just how brutal and time-consuming it is to be a teacher — especially when it comes to grading essays. But on the flip-side most teachers don't know how or where technology can help them. Or worse, they're surrounded by all this awful technology that's been forced upon them. My district's attendance system required three separate logins! Three! Argghh! Last year I had four sections of the same Senior English prep. That meant 96 papers would come in all at once. I was super-passionate about getting these regular-level students ready for the rigors of college so I would find myself spending 15, 20, 30 minutes per paper. That multiplied by 96 is insane. That's where came from — as a teacher I felt the same pain you're feeling but my programming background allowed me to see where a little bit of technology could go a long way.
The Time4Writing Approach
Time4Writing is an online writing program for elementary, middle school, and high school students, which pairs each student with a certified teacher for one-on-one writing instruction. In a typical assignment, a student reads the instructions and rubric, completes the writing, and submits it for a grade. The Time4Writing teacher reads the submission, provides general feedback, and embeds specific corrections and suggestions for revision within the writing before sending it back to the student. This process often becomes a running conversation between the student and instructor, as the student revises and re-submits, and the teacher gives further feedback. Some students love the process so much, they must be asked to go on to the next assignment, or they’d never finish the course!