Tip 1: Make sure all devices and systems are working
Have you checked your Chromebooks, laptops or tablets yet? Are the devices still up-to-date or do they need to be replaced? Head over to this page from Google to see if your Chrome devices will still be supported next year. Be sure to check the desktops, Chromeboxes, printers, IWBs, and touchscreens at school as well.
Tip 2: Review student information
A new school year means students have advanced from one group to another. The last week of summer break is the perfect opportunity to check that all student data is accurate and up-to-date. If you use COOL, student and group data in your Student Information System (SIS) is automatically synced to the COOL platform and your Google Workspace on a daily basis. IT administrators only need to check the data once. How convenient!
Tip 3: Be careful when deregistering accounts
As soon as student or employee accounts are deregistered from the SIS, COOL automatically suspends those accounts. The account is archived, but not immediately deleted. This means that the student or employee can no longer log in to COOL, but their data is still stored. If necessary, COOL allows you to remove archived accounts in bulk.
Tip 4: Monitor security and privacy
Check who has access to certain folders and documents. Are employee permissions still up to date? Should any users be removed from your systems? Conducting these types of checks is important for protecting privacy in your school. It’s also important to check classrooms one last time before starting into the new year. Are there USB sticks lying around? Or notepads with passwords on them? If so, point them out to each other. That way, private information stays with the right person. As a team, stick to this golden rule: Don’t distract colleagues with your data.
Tip 5: Save teaching time with Easy login for your younger groups
More devices in the classroom have led to younger grade levels using IT more frequently. Provide your teachers with a virtual classroom assistant that helps even the youngest students to easily log themselves in: COOL Easy login. With Easy login, you remove the barrier for students who have a hard time remembering passwords and give teachers more time to focus on teaching.
Tip 6: Label the cables
A cable here, a cable there… Do you still know exactly which cable belongs where? Document the existing cable connections with photos or label your network cables with the number of the patch point to which they are connected.
Tip 7: Check the network
Many schools have purchased or received additional Chromebooks and other devices to accommodate distance learning. You may also be working (more) in the cloud. It’s good to check if the current network can handle this additional load. Is the internet connection strong enough to provide reliable internet access to all students and teachers? Checking and optimizing the network will ensure that teaching and learning can take place without interruption throughout the school year!
Bonus tip: If you have a managed network, you can also choose to limit the maximum bandwidth a device can use to more equally distribute your available bandwidth.
Tip 8: Find the right classroom management tool for the new school year
Classroom management tools such as the COOL Platform have been widely used during remote learning situations. It can also help improve student well-being and make teachers’ lives much easier in a traditional classroom setting. For this new school year, make sure your school has the right classroom management tool needed for success.
Tip 9: Evaluate the past school year
To start the 2021-2022 school year well prepared, take a moment to look back as well. So much has happened in the past year in terms of IT. Students and teachers have honed their IT skills and gained a lot of new experience with digital tools. But how can you maintain and build on this in the years ahead?
We have found that many schools need professional support to drive this development forward in the long term. After all, what path do you want to take after such a period of radical change? And where do you start?
Our team of certified experts and trained teachers is here to guide your school in innovation issues and support you in sustainable digitization and professionalization. Would you like to explore your team’s development needs and get professional advice? Then feel free to contact us at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tip 10: Start the new school year at your best
Is your school using Google Workspace for Education? If so, you won’t want to miss our Google Admin Console webinar in September. You’ll learn about all the options and extensions, how to optimize your settings, and how to get the most out of your Workspace. Want to start your learning journey today? Then check out our YouTube series to jump right in.
Bonus tip: Check the Extensions and Apps your school uses. How? In Episode 8 of our YouTube series, we show you exactly how to get this done. In 1 minute, you’ll learn how to set the right policies for the apps used in your domain.
Do you have any questions or concerns? Or did you miss any tips we didn’t cover? Let us know!
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