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After managing 1:1 programs, implementing new ed tech tools, setting up PD sessions, and so much more, you deserve time to relax and celebrate making it through another school year.
To help you wrap everything up and set your tech team, teachers, and students up for success this summer and for the upcoming school year, we put together an end-of-year tech checklist.
Preparing Devices for Summer
Having processes and procedures for storing equipment can give your district a jumpstart on the upcoming school year.
End of Year Orders: When receiving end of year orders, you will want to verify that the device was received in working condition. This additional step can help to identify any damaged or DOA (dead on arrival) devices that you could potentially receive from vendors. If time permits, you can even unbox and set up new Chromebooks, laptops, or tablets before the summer break.
Device Storage: Storing dust sensitive items such as remotes, dongles, and interactive panel pens in clear storage bags with the appropriate labels for easy retrieval later in the summer or the following school year.
Device Inventory: Implementing a device inventory system is a great way to document the number of devices available for use and to assist with any upcoming procurement needs. In the event of an audit, this process can be a driving force in providing the appropriate documentation needed for a successful review.
Managing Passwords & Access
Remembering numerous passwords from one school year to the next can be a bit overwhelming. In fact, for most districts, students and staff will use their current password during the summer and for the upcoming school year. Districts may use Single-Sign On (SSO) platforms such as Clever and Class Link to provide students and staff with one password for all applications. These applications are normally very user friendly and even come with a QR code for scanned access. As you leave for the summer, it is a good practice to store your password in a safe and secure location. If you are unable to remember your password, your school’s IT department should be able to provide support.
Providing Support for Teachers
Teachers and staff spend hours of their time coming up with great resources to enhance student learning. As you prepare to close out the school year, consider the following tips:
Learning Management System (LMS)
If your district uses a platform like Canvas or Schoology, be sure to have teachers and staff back up your courses for future use. Most student access will be determined by the individual page settings. For teachers and staff who are avid Google Classroom users, it is highly suggested that they archive all classes. This will time-seal their resources for later use and preserve the class materials, assignments, and any postings to the class stream from previous school years. If a class is not archived, it will still be listed in your students’ active classes which could result in unsupervised interactions.
Are you interested in using the summer to “catch up” on emails or to relax and prepare for the upcoming school year? Well, you may want to consider one of the following:
Resetting Your Password: Reset your password to help avoid any login problems with your email via your Office365 or Gmail account over the summer due to password expiration.
Checking Your Email from Home: Before leaving for the summer, make sure you know how to access your email when you’re off-campus. You can bookmark your school’s domain to assist with this task.
Sharing is caring, but a lot can happen during the summer. Remember, if you are using files that have been shared by another employee, it is a good practice to export and save the content that you would like to keep. Typically, as a good rule of thumb, when an individual leaves an organization, any links to files they own that they have shared with you become broken. Create a folder on an external drive or on your device with your must–have files that you would like to keep for future use.
Keeping Your Digital Learners Connected This Summer
The summer slide is the way in which some students seem to regress academically during the summer months. There are several ways to keep your digital learners connected during the summer:
Device Lending Program
Providing devices for at-home summer use is a wonderful way to continue the learning process for students. If that is not an option, you can set up an Internet Café to provide on-site hours for students and families to use the Internet or outfit a bus with WiFi that can be parked throughout the community during the summer. As an additional form of support, you can consider contacting your local library to see if they have a device lending program your students can participate in.
Newsletter to Parents and Students
There is always a need for tech resources and tips that you can use. Developing a summer newsletter for parents and students is a great way to keep families informed. As a suggestion, topics of focus could include:
- Top List of “must-have” educational apps
- Educational Games and Websites
- Google Tips and Tricks
- Virtual Field Trips
- Links to online safety materials
- Summer technology challenge
- Information on local on-site FREE Wi-Fi locations
Planning Ahead with Vendors
As you prepare for the upcoming school year, it is a great practice to make summer contact with vendors. Check to see what upcoming promotions they have and determine if they are fiscally sound to meet your needs. Most districts open their spending cycle for the upcoming school year as of July 1. When thinking about new equipment needs and adding items to your inventory, it is always a plus to have a refreshed quote and your purchase orders ready to get ahead of back-to-school rush for procurement.
Krystle Pearson, M.Ed. is the Kajeet Education Sr. Marketing Manager, bringing with her 16 years of experience, including her most recent role as a K-12 Director of Technology. She also serves on the Executive Board for the Virginia Alliance of Black School Educators.