A little-known secret in the teaching community is that educators don’t really get summers off. Sure, classes are not in session, unless you count summer school. We often do our vacationing in the summer, but the three months schools are “closed” in the summer is rarely a dead time for the dedicated educators. We have professional development, curriculum committees, and who knows what else to fit into our time “off.”
What makes this especially difficult is that we have to find ways to schedule these meetings via email that colleagues fail to check all summer. In fact, many educators sort of check out when it comes to electronic communication and I can’t say that I blame them. Luckily, there are plenty of online tools created to help you schedule and plan such professional activities over the summer.
One such tool is Sign Up Genius. This free online tool provides the ability to create and manage a sign up list. This could be ideal for committee work where members must divide the workload and complete tasks individually that will contribute to the committee’s overall goals.
A good old-fashioned wiki can also be invaluable for planning virtually. Check out Common Craft’s explanation of the wiki below.
Still, the biggest obstacle to summer planning for educators is just scheduling a meeting. Doodle is a service that allows users to ask participants for dates that work for them. This free tool works like a poll and includes a confirmation function once a date is selected.
What tools will you use to schedule summer meetings with your colleagues? Are there classroom uses for these tools that you can imagine?
Zac Early is an instructional specialist for the eMINTS National Center.