Staying organized during a hectic school year is certainly a difficult task. With hundreds of e-mails, phone messages, parent conferences, and meetings, staying organized can seem impossible. To help, I’ve put together a short list of helpful apps I use to stay on top of things.
1. Google Apps for Education— “Google Apps Education Edition is a free suite of hosted communication & collaboration applications designed for schools and universities.” The suite includes apps to help teachers communicate (Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Talk) and collaborate (Google Docs, Google Sites, Google Groups, and Google Video).
2. Evernote— Evernote is a great tool to save ideas, things you see during the school day, and important information. Teachers and administrators can use this app from their smartphones to create a note on a student or class, clip a web page to look at later, take a photo, grab a screen shot, or save an audio file. Evernote is a wonderful tool that can help busy teachers easily capture important information and quickly organize it. I access Evernote from my smartphone during the school day to organize my thoughts and record important school-related information. When I get a chance to sit down at my desk (and I have a little more time to think), I access Evernote from my desktop to update and further organize the information I captured with my smartphone.
3. Basecamp— Basecamp is a terrific project management application. Users can easily share files, assign tasks, organize information, and manage deadlines. Basecamp is a wonderful tool for site administrators, department chairs, or site committees.
4. Dimdim— This app enables users to easily screen share. Users can deliver presentations online, share videos, or other types of interactive information. The best part of Dimdim is that it is 100% browser-based and, therefore, doesn’t require instillation or downloading of software. Dimdim is a great way for teachers and administrators to share information, host online meetings, and participate in professional development activities.
5. Mindmeister— Mindmeister is a mind-mapping tool that can help educators design, organize, and share complex ideas. Mindmeister is a great tool to map and design curriculum, organize department strategies, or outline a district policy. Another similar app I use on my smartphone is Thinking Space. Although it’s not quite as good as Mindmeister, I like being able to access the tool on my smartphone while I’m meeting with teachers, sharing ideas, or organizing my thoughts (on the run!).
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