Summer break is nearly here! But before you slip on your flip flops and hit the beach for some well-earned rest and relaxation, take some time to review these timely tech tips geared toward helping you get your digital devices and resources in order. That way, you can return to the classroom next fall feeling well-organized and prepared to guide a new class of eager learners.
Each of these tips comes to you from one of our savvy team members. Don’t skip over tip #4! It can save you a lot of time and effort this summer.
Tip #1 – Archive your Lessons and Reflect
From Stacie Tefft, LTC Instructional Technology Coach
Before you shut your laptop and check out for the summer, consider taking some time to archive some of your most successful digital lessons from the current school year. This can include downloading resources, saving links, and creating folders on your Google Drive so that you can easily pull from those lessons during the next school year.
While you’re at it, add a few notes to your lessons reflecting on what went well and what could be improved upon next use. That way, you can concretely assess your lessons’ performance without forgetting a crucial detail or takeaway over the long summer months.
Tip #2 – Clean Out your Digital Desk
From Anne Kasa, LTC Instructional Technology Coach
No one works well at a messy desk. Despite that, many teachers head out for the summer with a jumble of documents, videos, and images floating around their digital workspace.
Save yourself the hassle of needing to straighten things out in the fall by tidying up now. That can include organizing files worth keeping into easy-to-navigate folders and trashing any extra files that are adding clutter to your Drive or on your desktop.
If you’re worried about tossing something you might need later, now would also be a good time to set up a reliable backup system for your mission-critical files. Whether you manually backup your files on a regular basis or set up an automated backup process, you’ll be happy to know you have a second option if your device is suddenly upgraded or replaced over the summer.
Tip #3 – Turn on Two-Factor Authentication
From Jen Leban, LTC Instructional Technology Coach
Anymore, it feels like you can’t scroll through teacher Twitter without seeing a handful of stories about schools struck by cyberattacks. Ransomware attacks in particular are on the rise, with Albuquerque (NM) School District and Lincoln (IL) College making headlines for the scale of their respective attacks.
Cyber attackers are often looking for a quick and easy way to access a school’s network. One way you can deny them access to your files and your district’s private networks is by utilizing two-factor authentication (2FA). This method ensures only you can access your devices, including while you’re away on summer break.
Here are a few more cybersecurity tips for teachers if you want to do more to keep your school accounts and data safe.
Tip #4 – Check with your Tech Director
From Matt Jacobson, Online Learning Coordinator
As the school year winds down, take a moment to check in with your building or district tech director. They may have a list of customized recommendations that can help you prep your devices for the extended break ahead.
For example, your district’s tech team will likely run software updates and other assessments on your devices while you’re away. To help them readily access your devices, be sure to follow their requests for recording your passwords. While that may go against conventional wisdom about writing down your credentials, it can be a major help to your hardworking tech team.
More End-of-Year Tech Tips and Resources
Between grading finals and holding end-of-year celebrations, you probably have plenty on your plate right now. If you can take some time out of your busy schedule to put these tech tips into action, you’ll thank yourself when the new school year rolls around. After all, it’s hard to beat returning to a safe and tidy digital classroom!
Looking for more tips and resources for closing out your school year strong? Check out this handy Flipgrid we created showcasing even more end-of-year tech tips from the LTC staff – including a quick primer on archiving (instead of deleting) your Google Classroom classes.
Teacher license renewals are also coming up over the summer. If you’re still looking for quick PD to fulfill this cycle’s requirements, drop in to one of our free, self-paced online courses. Classes on Google Drive, Microsoft OneNote, and more are open now through June 10.