Have you ever thrown a party, gotten your house all cleaned up and presentable? But you worry, the whole time somebody’s going to open your bedroom door and see how you really live? Totally. What a nightmare. That’s me on the first day of school. My desk is organized, the whiteboard is pristine, I even have the perfect borders for my bulletin boards, but beneath it all, my tech setup is a hot mess. I’ve definitely been there. What if I said your classroom tech setup didn’t have to be that way? Really? How so? You’ve just got to think of your digital classroom as a natural extension of your physical classroom. Even if you don’t use tech every day, it’s got to be a part of your classroom prep from day one. All right. So where do I start? First things first. Just like you’ve got places for textbooks and all your other supplies You’ve got to find a convenient and secure place to store and charge devices. The key is making them easy for students to access and put away. So true! You know I wish I had an actual device cart. Hey, no cart? No problem. Something as simple as a couple dish racks and power strips on a shelf could be a cheap solution that actually works. Oh. Clever. Found it on Pinterest. You know then I could number and assign devices and call in groups of kids for efficient pickup and drop off. Totally. Here’s another one for you. It’s kind of obvious, but easy to overlook You’ve got to have a system for communicating with students about when to use the devices. Oh, yeah, students are always going to wonder, Are we using devices today? Or what’s the signal for devices down? Yup, and easy visual cues are great for this, but it’s so important to set these expectations early. You know, better yet, get your students involved in creating these types of routines. So what about managing kids’ online and digital work? Oh, I see where you’re headed just like you have systems for passing out and collecting papers, you’ve got to build and practice a consistent digital workflow. It could be as simple as a shared folder, a class blog, a web page. Or you could even use an online portfolio. tool or a full-fledged LMS. It’s great if you can have a one-stop shop for all your reminders parent communications and assignments. Three simple tips to get your classroom party started: Have a convenient safe place to store devices. Help kids know when it’s okay to use them and establish your routine for your digital workflow. You got it! So, back to school party at your house this weekend? Let’s not go overboard.