Normally, the posts that I make on Edutopia are about how technology can be used to assist students in their learning. I like to share classroom-based resources and the way that I've used them to do more than would have been possible without the technology.
I'm conscious, however, that northern hemisphere schools are heading back to school soon, and I thought that I might talk about how I use technology to be better organised for my students - in other words, how does technology allow me to do my job better than before? Hopefully, some of you might find some of my tips and workflows valuable in the new school year.
Here they are, then, in no particular order:
1. Get rid of paper.
I try not to write anything down anymore. This is partly an environmental thing, but also because I have a habit of losing bits of paper and post it notes, or filling up notebooks quickly, or generally not being able to find something that I wrote down earlier. Instead, I use Evernote to organise the notes I need to make. It syncs across all my devices, and I can search through different notes quickly and easily. I can even, if I have to, take a photo of handwritten note and add it to evernote.
2. Use Reminders
This is a bit of a no-brainer, but it's so important for me. I look after the administration of my school, so people are constantly sending me emails or telling me things that I need to program or add to calendars and so on and so forth. If I didn't use an app like Reminder, I wouldn't have a chance of remembering all of those things. With this app, I can just jot down each one as I come across it. Then, at the start of each week, I prioritise each item on my list. I can even have different lists if I need to - one for school, uni etc. A great feature is I can set deadlines on these reminders, too.
3. Become a pro calendar user
This is my best piece of advice, based on my experience over the last year. Whatever calendar app you use, most people do not get the real value from it. At a basic level, you can use it to plug in events so you know what you've got coming up, but I strongly advise stepping it up and using it for invites, sharing documetns and weblinks to important resources, booking out rooms for meetings/ classes/ putting assessments for classes on there and so much more. For really interesting ideas, have a look a Google Calender's labs facility.
So those are my three tips for being more organised. What are yours?
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