I see it almost daily as I make my way around the school. Teachers laptops, with desktops that look similar to the picture below:
Setting it up
We have a mixture of devices running in our 1:1 classroom environments. The majority of our students are still working on iPads, but this year we have opened up our BYOD program to include Windows 10 devices. Office 365 and OneDrive works across platforms, so all students can access the suite of Office applications and OneDrive easily on any device. In addition to this, our trusty IT team has very cleverly developed a script that allows student OneDrives to connect automatically when they log in on a shared school device in the Lab. This allows our students to work across operating systems and provides a place for students to save their work regardless of what they are doing or where they are.
Teaching good habits
After setting up student OneDrives, I have worked with each class to help students learn to manage their files in OneDrive. Student OneDrives will follow our students all the way through their senior years of schooling and in those years could well get out of hand. I compared managing their OneDrive storage as similar to managing a drawer of clothes and that it was much easier to locate a pair of socks in a well organised drawer than a big jumble of random clothes.
With a little guidance, the students created a folder for the current school year with sub folders for different subjects. Some older students who have been 1:1 for a couple of years, created folders for their previous school years and tidied up their old documents also. Considering that we were doing the digital equivalent of cleaning their rooms, they were pretty enthusiastic.
The second key point made with the students was about what students were calling their documents. So many students had a list of Word documents called "Untitled", "Untitled (1)", "Untitled (2) or other generic names like "maths work". When asked what they were, the students had no idea. This helped me push home the point about labeling documents well. I was able to demo how a well named document could be found using the search feature on any device.
Even if the students take a little time to get into the swing of saving to their OneDrive, I do think making students responsible in this way is going to give them the opportunity to develop stronger file management skills and organisation. It also broadens their thinking about digital systems, data and data transmission.
Read all about my thoughts on teaching in the 21st Century, my experiences with technology in the classroom, running a Maker Space, launching STEAM and Design Thinking with students, coding, robotics and much more!
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