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Teachers’ Tech Checklist for Day One

31 Jul 2015 by Heather Breedlove

Who says educators have summers off? As the saying goes, “Teachers just do a year’s work in 10 months.” Save time now, and start the year right by using this checklist to get your tech tools classroom ready.

Going paperless

  • Use a learning management system (LMS) like Google Classroom, Edmodo or Schoology to organize your classes and assignments. Does your district use Office 365? Sign up to receive notification of when Class Dashboard will be available to help teachers organize OneNote Notebooks, assignments, calendars and other materials.

Storing passwords

  • For elementary students, create login cards for students to manage their different educational accounts. Tip: Hole punch the cards and keep them on a key ring for students to access easily.
  • For secondary students, if they are creating their own passwords for different accounts they will use in class, create a form or spreadsheet that they fill in. This way you have the information in one place and can easily search it when they inevitably forget their passwords.
  • For higher education students, suggest students use a password keeper website like LastPass that will store all their passwords securely while only needing one master password to access different accounts.

Communication 101

  • Set up a Remind account and get the ability to send one-way reminders, announcements, or chat through texting with students and parents without sharing your personal phone number. Schools are also using this tool for communicating with their teachers about meetings, follow up from training or fun things like “Blue Jean Friday.”

Documenting student growth

Think about ways to show parents and administrators students’ growth throughout the year with either of these two tools:

  • Three Ring is a way to digitally organize and store student work and share with parents and administrators. Students and parents can have access to the portfolios, too.
  • Kidblog offers students a chance to reflect on their learning through blogging. Teachers love it because Kidblog makes it easy to moderate the student blogs through their account, allowing students to share while still staying safe online.

Website central

  • Update your information to reflect your current teaching position, contact information and important information for parents.
  • Create a page for students that contains links, homework help, and content for them to visit during the school day or at home.
  • Include a page to showcase student projects (with parent permission, of course).

Student engagement

  • Sign up for a Kahoot! account to give students a chance to review a topic. Hint: Don’t create a Kahoot! from scratch; search the database and modify an existing one.
  • Create a Poll Everywhere account, so students can respond using mobile devices or a Web browser. Choose from different types of polls like free response word clouds and clickable images.
  • Use ClassDojo to give students points for classroom behavior. Don’t think you will have time to use it with every student? Utilize ClassDojo Groups and start awarding points for cooperative work instead.
  • Only have one device? Set up a Plickers account where each student gets a unique card for you to scan like a QR code and provide instant feedback. Great for taking attendance or getting an overall picture of students’ comprehension.

Teacher time

Now that you have finished all that hard work in advance, time to reward yourself.

  • Buy some chocolate or anything from the pizza place.
  • Treat yourself to a coffee drink or other favorite beverage.
  • Finally, binge watch that Netflix series.