Sunday, April 30, 2023

End of Year Tech You Can Do: Tip #4 Plan Your Summer Activities

I love lists.
I love being able to check things off said lists.
I love how organized I feel.
I love seeing what I've accomplished.
I love having a plan in place.

This week, I suggest you carve out a little time and create yourself a summer to do list. 

It doesn't need to be fancy ... but you can make it fancy. It doesn't need to any length ... you can always add to it or subtract from it. There is NO requirement. It's summer. I like to get a lot of home projects done during the summer. 

I started to create mine this weekend. I used the page in my notebook where I am planning each month's big picture to do's. It's the page right between June & July. So far, I've only added a few things - family pictures, family vacation, my oldest daughters - gasp! - senior pictures, and a couple of professional activities that are already scheduled. 

This week, I am going to add three categories that I know will have things I want to complete: home DIY projects, professional learning, and items to get done for school. My list will not be complete until summer is over; I'll add and subtract from it.

My goal is to check everything off, but plans change and somethings things aren't meant to get done. Ultimately, I do the things I CHOOSE to do - summer is my time. I WANT to do the things I put on my list. And believe me ... I get in plenty of rest and relaxation and sunshine, too!

For my summer professional learning, I'm planning to do a variety of activities: 
  • A couple of books I want to read
  • A certification or two I want to work towards
  • Podcasts to catch up on
  • Templates and activities to create and share on my blogs
If you are interested in starting to plan your list, be sure to check out the Professional Learning page here on my blog. I have been collecting free & low-cost ways for teachers to continue learning for quite some time. Many are in the "on-demand" style so you pick and choose and do them in your own time. I've begun adding some books that I have found valuable as an educator - these can be found by choosing "Book" in the secondary focus filter on the table. I plan to add podcasts, too.

What's on your agenda? Have you started thinking about it? I'd love to know what you are planning - whether it's school related or not.

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Sunday, April 23, 2023

End of Year Tech You Can Do: Tip #5 Clean Up Your Bookmarks

Over the next 5 weeks, I'm going to share a suggestion for you to wrap up the school year up. Each week one tip will ask you to focus on one major aspect of your "life" as far as teaching goes. Breaking it down like this will allow you to move into summer with a cleaned up digital life and be ready to start next year on better footing. (I also hope it will help you develop good habits moving forward so the clean up at the end of each year gets easier!)

Tip #5 is to go through your digital bookmarks. 
Let's do one of 3 things:
  • delete ➔ 
    • these are ones you don't even know why you have them OR
    • they were a one-time bookmark & no longer need them

  • organize 
    • put in an order for easy location OR
    • create/add to bookmark folders for groups of bookmarks

  • leave alone 
    • these bookmarks are perfect right where they are
You might be wondering why I suggest cleaning up your bookmarks ... I frequently see teachers struggling to find the sites they have bookmarked. We don't have a lot of "time", so bookmarks can be deceiving if you don't have them organized. They can easily become like your junk drawer. Lots of things go in there - good things, important things - but you can never find anything. 

If you want a more detailed explanation of how to make folders and other bookmark tips, check out this blog, Organize Chrome (in 5 Steps) You Can Do.

Take the time once a year to clean them up and you'll start next year off a little more organized ... and maybe even with the plan to keep it that way. My ultimate goal is that I don't have any bookmarks trailing off my bookmarks bar. (I DO have some folders, but they are necessary to keep groups of bookmarks together.)

Don't spend a ton of time on this. Set a timer for 15 minutes. If you are still working through your bookmarks, take a break and come back. 

*** Every Monday, I share a newsletter with a collection of Tech You Can Do resources. It is delivered right to your inbox. Interested? 
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