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Alice Keeler

Tech Tips for End of Year Digital Cleanup

It's the end of the year. You're cleaning your classroom, also clean your digital files too! Here are some tech tips for end of year digital cleanup.
Tech Tips for End of Year Digital Cleanup

As the school year draws to a close, it’s essential to organize and archive your digital classroom to ensure a smooth transition to the upcoming academic year. At Teacher Tech we focus on transformative uses of EdTech that enhance student-centered learning environments. However, at the end of the school year, as we wind down our student interactions we are left with the digital evidence of all our hard work. Here are some tech tips for end of year digital cleanup. 

Google Drive Cleanup & Organization:

Create Year-Specific Folders:

Consolidate files and folders into one main folder labeled with the academic year (e.g., “2023-2024 School Year”). This keeps everything in one place and makes it easier to find later.

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Name Files Consistently

Use a consistent naming scheme that includes the date, type of content, and a brief description (e.g., “2024-05-03_Chemistry_LectureNotes_AcidsBases”).

Use Color Coding

Assign colors to different types of folders to quickly identify them. For example, use green for current classes and blue for completed classes or resources.

Archive Old Files

At the end of each year or semester, move old files that are no longer actively used but needed for records into an ‘Archive’ folder. This keeps your active Drive space decluttered. Consider creating a separate top-level ‘Archive’ folder to store all past years.

Google Classroom Management:

Return All Work

Make sure all assignments have been graded and returned to students. This ensures that students have received their feedback and that your grade book is complete. This also keeps identical files from being in your Google Drive that are owned by you. 

Organize Your Classrooms

Copying a Google Classroom class will result in your Google Drive being a hot mess. It is much better to reuse individual assignments than to copy the whole thing. For each class (such as Geometry vs. Algebra) clean up one class to remove things you for sure will not reuse in the future. 

Choose Student Exemplars

Before deleting student documents (Which is a good idea, you don’t need them. Remember how you used to throw away all the student papers in your filing cabinet at the end of the year?!) choose to MOVE some student exemplars that you want to use as examples into an Exemplars folder you create. 

Export the Grades

Open any assignment and click on the cog icon to export grades to Google Sheets. This provides you a backup. 

Remove Students

Before achieving your class, and after you have all the grades exported, go to the People tab and remove the students.

Delete Student Documents

Unless it is work worth saving, remove them from your Google Drive. Search for files NOT owned by you, assuming you returned all student work, and remove them from your Drive. 

Organize Class Materials

Anything you uploaded to an assignment in Google Classroom was organized in Google Drive in the class folder. Go to the Class folder and move files in there to better organize for when you want to reuse them. 

Archive Class

Once the school year is complete, archive your classes. Archiving removes the class from your active dashboard but keeps all the content accessible for future reference. This helps keep your current workspace clutter-free.

If you want to delete the class, archive it first. Then go to “Archived classes” on the left side to delete from there. 

Google Calendar: Reflect and Prepare

Your Google Calendar isn’t just for scheduling meetings; it’s a powerful tool for reflection and planning. Here’s how you can use it to wrap up the current school year and set yourself up for success next year:

Review Past Events

Take some time to look back at your calendar events from the past year. Did you attend any professional development workshops or conferences? Did you experiment with new teaching strategies or technologies? Reflecting on these experiences can help you identify areas of growth and plan for future improvement.

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Plan for Summer PD

Research and schedule any professional development activities you’d like to attend over the summer. This could be online courses, webinars, conferences, or workshops. Investing in your professional growth during the break can help you start the new school year feeling refreshed and inspired.

Set Goals & Reminders

Use your calendar to set goals for the next school year, both personal and professional. You can also create reminders for important tasks like ordering supplies or updating your curriculum. This proactive approach can help you start the new year with a clear vision and a plan for success.

Cleaning Up Gmail

Email is a year long every day battle to keep cleaned up. Cleaning up a Gmail account can make a huge difference in managing communications more efficiently, especially for teachers who receive a high volume of emails daily. Here are some practical steps teachers can take to tidy up their Gmail inbox as part of their end-of-year digital cleanup:

Unsubscribe from Unnecessary Emails

Begin by unsubscribing from newsletters, updates, and advertisements that no longer serve your needs. Gmail typically offers an “Unsubscribe” link at the top of promotional emails, making this process straightforward.

Use Labels and Categories

Organize your emails by creating labels (basically folders) that correspond to different classes, subjects, administrative communications, and personal messages. You can automate this by setting up filters to direct incoming emails into these labels automatically.

Filters are powerful in managing incoming emails. You can set them to archive, delete, label, or forward emails based on criteria like sender, subject keywords, or other content. For example, all emails from the school administration can be tagged automatically or important parent communications can be starred automatically.

end of year cleanup starts with gmail filtering messages like these

Archive Old Emails

Instead of letting old emails clog your inbox, archive them. Archiving removes emails from your inbox but keeps them in your account so you can access them later if needed. It’s useful for clearing out messages you don’t need immediately but might want to refer back to. Find one email and use the 3 dots in the toolbar to “Filter messages like these.” Archive them all at once or set a filter to automatically filter emails like these in the future. 

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