Learning Never Stops

Those of you that know me well know how much I love what I do. I may be well-aged, but my learning doesn’t stop. I am challenged daily by my colleagues to be better. Twitter, Professional readings, workshops, collaborative interaction and the like make me realize just how little I really know.

woman sitting on chair using black ipad
Photo by picjumbo.com on Pexels.com

Last week Marlo Gaddis, Interim Chief Technology Officer and Senior Director for Instructional Technology and Library Media Services for the Wake County Public School System challenged her followers to read professional articles for an hour a day. At first, I thought, I can barely find an hour to sleep! But as the enormity of what she had said sunk in, I realized that not only should I read professional material an hour a day, but I must read this way.

Education and technology change constantly. Sometimes daily or hourly. It is the responsibility of every professional educator – and especially those in coaching roles – to remain invested in expanding our knowledge base. Summer break is the perfect time to begin this new habit.

While I am not yet devoting a full hour daily while on vacation, my goal is to use technology to help me develop this habit. Daily Wunderlist and Google Calendar reminders, using Feedly to curate relative content and posting via Buffer to spread that knowledge to the greater community is now in my daily routine.

So now it’s my turn. I am challenging you to invest some time in your professional development on a daily basis. Whether you are a teacher, business professional, homeschool parent, chef, stay-at-home parent, a student or whatever your job is, you can benefit from spending some time reading about your profession and the areas that affect your situation. Dig deeper. Expand your circle of influence. Join me on the journey!

Managing Multiple Devices Makes Me Tired!

My school now has over 900 devices that have to be managed, maintained and handled. While there are “simple” ways to handle this, I find that using a database has saved me. I use FileMaker exclusively because it’s what I’ve always used. It’s powerful and provides me with so many options.

Keeping my own inventory allows me to make labels, reconcile inventory, and know where any one of those 900 devices are supposed to be. (No, they aren’t always where they started out!)

The end of the school year brings a fresh set of problems with so many devices. How long do you leave them in the classroom and still efficiently get them gathered up for storage? How many should just get covered and locked in classrooms? Since they need to be re-distributed in the fall, is it easier to just collect themmultiple devices and start fresh?

While every person will choose their own method, I like control. There, I said it. I like to know where they are. I like them in my “office” – it’s really a large closet, but I still call it home – where I can put my hands on them, organize them and know what I have.

Relabeling is so much easier with my database. Printing the ERD or equipment recycling sheets is simplified by just recreating the form that my county uses. Then I just save as a PDF and I’m done. Handwrite a form? No way! Efficiency is the key.

I’ve always been a list maker, so moving to the online version of a list helps me. To Do lists with Wunderlist, lists of inventory with FileMaker and Google Sheets with checklists of beginning and end of year responsibilities help keep my sanity. What little I have left. Multitasking keeps me busy!

How do you manage your devices? Do you have a method that is tried and true? I’d love your feedback. And I promise not to take control of your school’s devices. Really. Promise.

How Do You Organize?

Time is precious. With so many tools available, how do you know what tools will work best for you? Here are a sampling of tools that could help you save time and hassle. Just explore to find the right ones for you.

These are some of my “Go-To” apps. Give them a few weeks and see if they improve your workflow. If they don’t, then they should not become part of your digital toolbox. Enjoy!

Ad Block Plus: https://adblockplus.org/

Add This: http://www.addthis.com/browser-extensions/bookmarklets

Bit.ly: https://bitlysupport.desk.com/customer/portal/articles/2120973-tools?b_id=5612

Diigo: https://www.diigo.com/tools/diigolet

Symbaloo: http://blog.symbaloo.com/bookmarker-en/