Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How I Run My School Via iPhone and Why #wiredprincipal #savmp

This post has been drafted on my laptop for a couple of days and has yet to be published, life as an Elementary Principal can get BUSY, good thing I run my school via iPhone, I'm not sure how else I would do it. 

- Of course Principals get tons of emails everyday and having my email on the phone is extremely helpful. My mentality is I would rather 'maintain' my email flow throughout the day, not check it twice a day and have 20+ new messages. 

- When I first got hired at John Swett as Principal I introduced Google Calendar to my office manager and gave her control. Told her to run my schedule and trained her on how to use Google Calendar. After a couple of days she asked me, "You're never in your office, how do you always know about appointments that I book for you, you always show up right on time?" Being mobile with your calendar is a must!

- Evernote is hands down the most time saving, efficient and useful app on my iPhone. Any and all notes I take are with Evernote because they sync with all my devices and you can always log onto the web browser to see/retrieve your notes. 

All my teacher observation notes are taken in Evernote, and organized in each teachers folder for easy use later on when I write up the evaluations. This is great because I can be in an observation taking notes on my MacBook Air or iPad, take a photo (with my iPhone) of something awesome in class during the observation and the photo automatically syncs with the Evernote I'm currently working on. 

(To slow down.....I can be taking an  Evernote on my laptop, take a picture with my phone on the same note simultaneously and they ALL sync together)

- Twitter has changed my life, my school, my teachers and the parent community as we interact in a totally new way. I love Twitter because it's like Open House all year/day long, sharing the amazing work our teachers/students are doing on a daily basis. I have parents who tell me they check our feed (which is also on our school homepage) each day to see what happened at school. This has become contagious and now my ENTIRE staff is on Twitter sharing the goodness from their room. It opens doors in an amazing way! @jseroadrunners

- Google Drive is a must app on your phone so you can access all your documents. Great example is earlier this week we were short a substitute teacher and I was running around covering classes and such. Still answering emails in between everything that was going on, got a request from district for a document that I of course accessed from Google Drive on my iPhone an was able to close that loop within just a few minutes. If I didn't carry my phone throughout the day and didn't have all my docs on Google Drive, this would not have been answered or dealt with until 330pm or so, much faster when connected by phone. 

- Remind 101 has been an amazingly convenient addition to our communication stream at John Swett. Parents really appreciate text message reminders and I of course can send them from their web browser but also the app. Yesterday was a great example......we had some new speed bumps installed for our parking lot and I sent a quick Remind heads-up message so parents would know about the change. It's as quick as sending a text message and reaches your entire audience, so cool!

- Google Hangouts has proven itself in numerous different ways. I constantly have numerous 'chats' going on with different people in my district within Gmail, and if I get pulled away from my MacBook Air for whatever reason, those chats can continue via the Google Hangout app on my iPhone. The chats are also archived on the app so you can go back for info later on if needed. Another great way to stay connected throughout the day without being anchored to your office!

And of course, you can 'Hangout' with colleagues during the day on the mobile app as well. We've used this to show off student work or what's going on in a conference (on mute of course)

- I really like Flickr to upload all the photos that I Tweet and we link the page on our school website. It's like a yearbook online throughout the year and it's fun to go back and look at what we've done. I don't keep all the photos I take archived on my phone, so it also acts as an online archive if I need to go pull images for something. 

- Using voice in education is super powerful for many different reasons and audioBoo has been my go-to app for a few years. Recording school messages to email, Tweet or post can all be done from your phone. We do a lot of student recordings and the phone app actually works better/faster than the web browser, check them out!

These are my main apps that help me Run My School Via iPhone.....what are yours?

I'll be presenting on this same topic March 8th at SVCUE, hope to see you there! www.svcue.net

1 comment:

  1. Hi Adam,
    Great post! I always read about tech rollout and the important role of admin as a lead learner. These are all great ideas and I am a newbie iPhone user after being droid for the past few years. We just recently started using Google forms with ipad and iphone for classroom walkthroughs-- it helps me keep focused with my notes! Looking forward to visiting next week!