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Technology in the Classroom: A Guide to Spring Cleaning

Jayne Miller

From time to time, we’ll be collaborating with the folks over at Chalkup for article concepts and ideas. This month, Jayne Miller shares ideas for cleaning and organizing your ed-tech.

Daylight savings is behind us and you might find yourself needing a warmer-weather jacket these days. Spring is creeping in, and with it comes my seasonal desire to declutter, dust off, and generally organize all the things.

My organizational fury knows no bounds, so my devices are also due for a spring cleaning. This means backing things up, deleting what I don’t use, and installing updates, where needed.

Here’s a look at my technology in the classroom to-do list.

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Technology in the Classroom: Spring Cleaning for Your iPhone or iPad

Kill Unused Apps. Run a simple check of all your apps and kill what you don’t use. If you don't use it, it’s cluttering your phone and taking up space. And hey, maybe it’ll leave you some free room for our iOS app.)

Purge Photos and Video. You could be saving space on your phone by storing photos and videos in the cloud or on another device. If you’ve not set that up -- or you have, but are still storing copies on your iPhone or iPad -- you’re wasting space.

Doublecheck that you’ve saved what you want to save and delete what’s backed up elsewhere (or is simply unwanted). It’s freeing.

Clean Your Home Screen. Stuff gets cluttered. I like to do a quick sweep of my apps and group things, where possible. Makes it easier to navigate and find what I want to find.

Run an iTunes Sync (or something similar). Music and podcasts are always the toughest thing for me to clean up. Syncing playlists to my device and storing the rest elsewhere has been a successful strategy for me. I also like to run a quick sync before traveling to ensure my podcast library is updated.

For Your Macbook

Run Updates. I actually do this about every other week, and it should go for all your devices, not just a laptop. No time like spring cleaning to make sure your operating system and applications are running the latest, greatest, bug-free versions.

Keep 5 percent free. It’s a good rule of thumb to keep 5-10 percent of your MacBook clear to prevent slowdown. It’s a long story, but essentially without this buffer your laptop is constantly rewriting/reorganizing data and performance suffers. Doublecheck that you have a little breathing room on your Mac. While you’re at it, empty your trash.

Clean Your Desktop. Friends don’t let friends do this.

Check Your Accessories. I always like to do a good keyboard dusting. It’s also a good time to check the health of your battery and extension cords.

Also - make sure you’re storing your power adapter correctly. Doing so will greatly increase its lifespan.

For Your Chromebook 

Assess Your Apps. As with all my devices, I start by assessing what I use and what I don’t. It’s a real digital KonMari situation. I keep only the apps that give me joy.

Clear Downloads. It’s easy to overlook the items chilling in your downloads folder, just sitting there and taking up space. Give this folder a good cleaning.

Watch What’s in Offline Mode. If you have lots and lots of docs in offline mode, you’re taking up more space on your Chromebook than you need to. Update so just the docs you need are ready for offline work.

Bonus Round: Security Check

Password Resets. It’s possible your school or workplace requires you to reset your password regularly. It’s not a bad idea to do this with any personal accounts, as well. If you’re terrible at keeping track of passwords, don’t let that deter you. Extensions like LastPass can help. 

Backup Accounts with Phone Numbers. Did you know you can connect your Gmail, Twitter, and Facebook accounts to a mobile phone number, allowing you to reset passwords if you experience a security breach? Take a look to ensure you’ve enabled these features.

Chalkup is a class collaboration platform that keeps classes connected, organized, and equipped to learn more. Read more on their blog or sign up for a demo here.