10 Tech Tips to Start the School Year
Starting the school year can be an exciting time for students and teachers alike. If you’re like many teachers, you devoted your summers to preparing for the year ahead, and part of that preparation includes lesson planning and getting your classroom ready.
What about the technology you’ll be using? These ten tips will have you and your students tech-ready at the beginning of the year.
- Write down your passwords.
Teachers have access to a variety of edtech programs, many of which require unique passwords. Avoid using the temptation of using the same password for every login, and don’t store your passwords on your computer.
- Inventory all devices.
You are responsible for all the materials checked out to you, including any tech devices. Keep a list of devices and their serial numbers. Match serial numbers with those on your list frequently.
- Identify storage.
You need two types of storage in the classroom: one area for students access and another for secure storage. Device-charging carts are accessible and safe for tablets and laptops, but students use other tech devices in the classroom as well. Teachers can use low tech storage device like a see-through plastic hanging shoe holder for storing calculators or for placing student cell phones in a safe place during instruction or testing.
- Plan your tech routine.
Teachers develop classroom routines for three reasons: efficiency, time-saving measures, and safety. Without consistent habits, chaos would break out. You must also prepare routines for the use of technology.
- Create a lesson about acceptable technology use.
Piggyback on the school’s Acceptable Use Policy, and teach the expectations explicitly. Prepare to repeat the lesson throughout the year, especially if your class experiences high student mobility.
- Create your class webpage
One of the best communication tools you have is your class webpage. It should contain your contact information, a calendar, your professional bio, class rules, and announcements.
- Learn how to use the LMS.
The Learning Management System your school has chosen can be a valuable tool if you take the time to learn how to use it.
- Use the cloud
If the thought of schlepping home grading, lesson planning, and other paperwork has you feeling exhausted before you pack your first tote bag, it’s time to use the cloud. Drop your file in a cloud-based electronic folder, pick them up at home, and return them for use at school the next day.
- Check your own social media pages and make them professional.
Remember when you got sunburned at the beach back in July? The picture you posted on Instagram or Facebook will help your students remember the incident as well. You are modeling social media behavior with every post you make. Clean up your posts or reset your security.
- Make friends with the tech team at your school and in the district.
The tech experts are your best resource when something goes wrong in with any of your devices. Besides, you may still need help remembering your password.
Technology is effective only if you use it; employing these tips will get your students using edtech quickly and smoothly.