Over the last couple of years I have started to move to organising the majority of my important documents digitally.
These include rolls, assessment planners, calendars, diary entries and …
Having left the paper versions behind I feel liberated. No more needing a new book grade book when the room runs out or writing individual student names in for each class. Searching on my desk for that lost roll and the continual filing of more and more paper. I swear it multiplies exponentially.
Here are the top 3 things that I now do digitally and the programs that I use to do it.
1. All classes, meetings etc scheduled in Outlook and colour coded.
- Having all these daily tasks in one platform lets me plan my week and each day at a glance. Outlook also reminds me when tasks are nearly due so that I don’t miss a deadline. Since all my classes and meetings are scheduled in Outlook all my staff are able to see my availability and if I have shared my calendar with them they can also see where I am. Outlook also allows me to link with the school calendar so that I can see all events that are going on within my school on the one page.
- Use the calendar program that your school is using so that you can view both calendars together.
- Having all of this in one spot also helps me to track my productivity for the day.
2. Use an electronic roll marking and checklist program
- If you have previously read my blog on my digital toolbox or why I love my IPAD you would already know that I currently use a program called iDoceo on my IPAD to keep track of my roll, homework, equipment, seating plans and assessment results. Having all of these elements in one spot makes reporting and phone calls home much easier. This is a paid IPAD app for approx. $18, while this might seem expensive I tried numerous apps with little success, this app has everything I need and decent reporting functionality.
- If you are on an android device the most comparable product that i have found is Additio. This app has a yearly subscription fee unlike iDoceo.
- There are a couple of apps available for windows but from my trials they don’t seem to have enough features to be useful.
- If you didn’t want to purchase an app or don’t have a device to use it on, excel spreadsheets can be a interim replacement for rolls etc.
3. Records of student conversations, parent communications and meeting notes
- Our school has a platform that is set to record these sorts of communications however I still like to keep my own records in one place so that I don’t need to look up each individual student.
- I use OneNote to store information on each of my students. Each student is allocated their own page within a section and each section is a class. Having information stored about students in this way ensures that I can quickly glance over any contacts that I have made or discussions that I have had with students here. This year I will also be recording students getting to know you surveys and reflection profiles so that I always have the students most up to date goals on hand.
- For my meeting notes it depends on how I am taking notes, if I am on my computer I use OneNote, however in most instances during a meeting I will only have access to my IPAD and therefore use Evernote. Evernote allows me to access the same notes across multiple platforms so that I can view my notes where ever I am. Evernote is a free app with a number of different plans depending on how you plan to use it. I currently use the free version.
If you are lucky enough not to be bound by the same restraints in cloud based software as I am you might also wish to look at the google platforms. Through google you can do most of what is above and store it all in the one location.
Hope you chose to move some of your record keeping to digital this year. If it all seems a little overwhelming I suggest trying just one program this year. If you have any questions or would like additional information about the programs that I use above please feel free to comment below, send a contact or message on our facebook page.