Summer to-do list

June? June! I have no idea where the heck May went, but poof! and it was gone! Or perhaps you are wondering if May was really only 31 days. Maybe that’s where you are.

Regardless, we are finally (well, most of you at least) in the home stretch, and what remains is just a whirlwind of excited kiddos and odd jobs.

My guess is that my weekly drivel is the last thing you really want to spend a lot of time on this week, but I wanted to offer a summer learning to-do list for all of you who want to get more comfortable with digital learning. After all, it isn’t going away, right? Bookmark it and drag it out again in a few weeks once you have regained your sanity.

Top 10 things to do in the summer to increase your digital learning aptitude:

1..Expand your professional social network. Join Twitter and/or Pinterest, and follow a few blogs. Here is a cheat-sheet for getting started on Twitter. Why? Because that’s where the best educators are sharing the good stuff!

2. Save or convert your Word, Excel and Powerpoint files to Google Drive, and organize them. There is a cool add-on for bringing up whole folder structures HERE.

3. Revise a lesson. Just whip that folder out (or open it on your device) and visualize it from a 21st century student’s eyes. Is it completely relevant in the world they live in? Can it be improved? Where can you shift from facts to discovery or teacher-centered to student-centered? Even if you don’t know how to change it, just identifying it is good. We can work on it together later.

4. Go to something. There are dozens of free and minimal fee workshops and EdCamps available all over MN this summer. A partial list is HERE, in addition to the ones in-house. There are a lot of online workshops too!

5. Learn education gamification from your kids. Have them teach you Minecraft, Mario Maker, or Scratch, and ask them how they could be used in class. Talk to kids about engaging school activities

6. Read.

7. Begin a professional blog. Reflect upon the year and start processing what you want to do in the fall.

8. Have a colleague help you learn a new digital learning strategy, or watch some videos posted by other teachers online to help you become more comfortable with tech, especially Google Apps, SeeSaw (K-2) or Schoology (3-12). You don’t have to wait for training. You don’t have to wait for formal training.

9. Spend some time on YouTube looking for cool videos that connect to your class content and save them to a playlist to use later.

10. Connect with and make plans for outside experts and cool people to visit your class next year via video chat. Don’t worry about the tech, just make the plans. The tech I can help with!

Enjoy these last few days with your kids. They may not always show it, but they are enjoying their last few days with you. After all, we may not always realize it, but many kids miss the safety, routine, and blanket of compassion they feel at school when they are home for the summer. Enjoy them.


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