Teachers get just as excited for summer break as students, but not just about vacations and soaking up the sunrays. Summer break brings the opportunity for teachers to set aside time to do the tasks they couldn’t do during the busyness of the school year. Odds are you probably already have a list of tasks you’d like to accomplish for yourself or your classroom this summer, but just in case you don’t know where to start, we’ve listed some ideas below.
You may be ready to just put the year behind you but taking time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t is critical. If you wait until you’re back in the classroom getting ready to begin the new school year you’ll most likely forget vital information that is fresh in your mind right now, or you won’t take the time to reflect at all. If you’re mentally exhausted from the year try these prompts from Dr. Catlin Tucker to get you started.
Troubleshoot Basic Tech Problems
As you take time to reflect on the school year, recurring tech problems you and students faced may surface in your mind. Jot those down and teach yourself how to troubleshoot over the summer so that you’re equipped to show students exactly what to do when the problems arise again in the fall. For example, tech problems often include how to: submit homework digitally, annotate a PDF, save files to a folder, backup files, resend a student’s login information, and common computer problems.
Digital Clean Up
If you have an IT department at your school, it will most likely take care of a lot of the digital clean up on chrome books or individual devices issued to students. But as a teacher, you probably relied on Google Drive, Google Classroom, or an equivalent software to keep track of your own classroom documents – which means you’re also in charge of keeping them clean and organized. You can make it feel less overwhelming by using a simple 3-step process:
Decide – Ask yourself, “when was the last time I used this document and was it helpful?”
Delete – If you can’t remember or it wasn’t helpful, delete it right then and there!
Delegate – Give it a new home in a folder that makes sense, where you can find it again easily. If you aren’t sure how to organize your folders, consider organizing them by broader topics, then sorting individual documents as subfiles. Check out these tips to organize your Google drive – you can also apply them to whatever software you’re using.
Inventory the Classroom
This is a tedious task most teachers don’t look forward to but assessing your classroom now will give you time to fill in the gaps and successfully prepare for fall. Make note of the resources you have available and supplies you need; check to make sure technology is functioning properly and that you leave plenty of time to order anything you’re lacking. The inventory process is also an ideal time to toss anything that isn’t serving your classroom any longer or that is old and outdated.
This is a task that many teachers think is happening, but later find out they’ve lost a lesson plan they thought they still had access to. It’s important that you know how to backup data and that you know where the backup data is being stored. If your school automatically backs up your files, make sure you know what the process is, which files are included in the backup, and where the files can be found. If you have any lesson plans, photos, videos, etc. on your personal device, make sure you save them in a backup location such as a removable hard drive or USB device.
Know How to Use the Digital Devices in Your Classroom
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many teachers often can’t help students troubleshoot on their digital devices because the teachers themselves have never used them! Take time this summer to sit down with whatever device your class uses (iPads, Chromebooks, laptops, etc.) and learn the basics of how to navigate them. Try logging into and using the activities and programs your students will use and get comfortable in the different digital environments. But don’t completely rely on the tech – make sure you have a plan B if the tech doesn’t work, which inevitably will happen!
Set aside time for yourself this summer to read books that have been on your list, try a new hobby, travel to a new destination, or simply learn a new skill. There are so many free webinars and resources on the internet, pick a topic that interests and excites you and learn because you want to.
Arguably, one of the most important tasks you can do for yourself and your students this summer is to relax. While the tasks mentioned above are helpful and will set you up for a successful fall, they won’t go well if you’re experiencing burnout before the new year even begins. Take time to unplug, step away from your classroom and the digital technology, and do whatever brings you rest and rejuvenation.
As you tackle some or all these tasks over the summer, you may find that your school is ready to take digital learning to the next level. EdTech’s cutting-edge approach to ebook implementation and our innovative online platform and tools give school administrators and teachers the controls they need at their fingertips.
If you’d like to learn more about what this would look like for your school, or you’d like to meet to understand our timelines better, schedule a demo below!
EdTech Solutions leverages education technology to improve learning by making it easy and simple for schools and students to manage and access individualized digital content on any device. EdTech’s cutting-edge approach to schoolwide ebook implementation and our innovative online platform and tools give school administrators and teachers the controls they need while providing students and parents with access to all their content on one easy-to-use platform with a single login, in most cases.
When you work with us, we create a personalized bookstore for your school where students can access and purchase their ebooks and textbooks on Shelfit.com. We also help publishers make their content available digitally to students on our robust multi-publisher ebook reader platform. We strongly believe that knowledge and good education should be available to all, and we are committed to developing and providing the online learning tools and modern services that make it possible.