What Does School Technology Department Need to Prepare in Summer Vacation?




In this summer, what does school technology departments need to do to maximize student learning? These activities include expanding outdoor learning opportunities, scheduling guest speakers, and distributing school laptops to students. However, a majority of these activities must be done before summer vacation begins. Here are some ideas:



Organize Your Files

After a long school year have you ever looked at your Google Drive, One Drive, or Downloads folder to discover the chaotic aftermath of 180 school days and a plethora of document types? As an educator, this is your reality. It is hard to be organized during the year and July is usually the time to clean things up. If you do not stay on top of your files each year, you will end up with duplicates and “lost” documents, creating frustration! Take a bit of time and sort through everything to start afresh next school year.

Distribute school laptops to students

The distribution of school laptops will begin in August and continue throughout the summer, when many students are on summer vacation. Students will be given a contact-less thermometer and required to sign a form to say they are not at risk of infection. Students may not congregate in a group of more than six feet. Drivers will wait outside while students pick up their new laptop. Secondary schools have already begun the distribution, while middle and high schools will do so this week and next. Middle and high school communication with families will be ongoing.


While many students are ecstatic about the distribution of school laptops to students during summer vacation, the question remains: Can this initiative help students stay in school? A recent initiative by the San Francisco school district, which gives students free Chromebooks for the summer, suggests that the strategy can be a valuable way to extend learning beyond the classroom! The distribution of devices could help reduce disparities between upper and lower income students and improve the quality of education for all. In addition, distributing school laptops to students may also help combat the summer slide, which affects many low-income and minority students most.



Attend teacher development workshops

Teachers can take advantage of the summer vacation period to expand their professional knowledge, network with fellow educators, and explore new technology. Summer vacation is a great time to attend teacher development workshops in your area. Many of these events are free or inexpensive, and many will last multiple days. Many of these events are endorsed by the College Board or the National Endowment for the Humanities. There is a vast variety of summer teacher development workshops available for all levels of educators.

Teachers can also take advantage of the free workshops offered by tech giants like Google and Apple. The workshops are often taught by certified MIEs, and they also offer continuing education credit. Check out the latest trends in digital media for teachers and school technology departments. If you can't make it to one of these workshops, you can always access archived versions of the events. TeachersFirst also holds interactive professional development workshops that are 90 minutes long and are offered after school hours.



Ending Thoughts

Educators, make sure to take care of yourselves this summer. Rest plenty and detox from this last year, it is well deserved. Nonetheless, it’s helpful to prepare now and ease the stress of the rapidly approaching school year; taking advantage of your low-key summer days to do this clean-up and readying yourself will bring peace of mind in the hectic preparations before the first day!


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