The launch of the 1:1 tablet program at UNIS has coincided with a move towards a paperless school. I don’t know if this move was part of the grand vision 5 or 6 years ago but it is certainly a reality on campus. Students in the Middle School/High School do not have access to any printers on campus. They aren’t even given notebooks or binders, for the most part, so teachers don’t give out physical worksheets. All handouts are printed from Word or PDF files into OneNote and then edited/manipulated with the keyboard or with digital ink. For many students, the only work that they do on paper are end-of-unit summative tests. There is also still the odd notice that get printed and sent to parents and, of course, our reports are still laboriously printed for parents to keep in their ‘permanent records’.
Because of this, we expect students, over the course of their stay at UNIS, to collect and create hundreds – possibly thousands! – of documents. How can we help them keep track of them all?
From the beginning, we’ve instituted a naming convention that should be used on every instructional file. The goal is for you to be able to recognize immediately the general contents of that file before it is even opened! The generic convention looks like this:
Subj – Unit – Assignment Name
As a teacher, I might create the following documents:
- Math08 – Linear Equations – Graphing Slope-Intercept Form
- Eng07 – Folktales – Writing My Own Folktalk
- Physics – Nuclear Physics – Fission Experiment
There should be no doubt what you will find when you open any of those documents. As the student has downloads the document to the correct location, she only needs to add her first and last name to end of the file name.
By doing this, it is easy to see when a file is out of place or misnamed. For the students who choose not use some sort of folder structure, this ensures that files from each subject are automatically grouped together when sorted by name. It also makes it easy to search for a file since we know what it should be called.
What do you do to help your students stay organized?