Why are Students’ Electronic Lives so Chaotic?
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How to Simplify Chaotic School Electronic Systems - Episode 022
Taco in the Bag and Disorganized Students
I was introduced to the most amazing thing ever when watching my daughter compete in her first tumble competition: Taco in a bag. Why am I so excited? It makes life simple.
What is it? A bag of chips. Open the bag and crush up the chips. Add cooked chicken, soy crumbles or ground beef. Add lettuce and salsa, then cheese and sour cream. Put it all in the bag and eat it.
But how does taco in a bag apply to struggling students?
There are three areas where I think teachers, parents and students could benefit from creating a system similar to the taco in a bag concept – to improve organization and make life easier.
Online School Systems (Canvas, Power School, etc.)
Let’s start with students in Florida with Canvas: When it’s organized, it’s easy for parents to follow and students to find their assignments. It’s easy to see what’s on the calendar. It’s a great taco in a bag moment. But when every teacher uses it differently and homework is placed in different areas, or things aren’t labeled, then it gets confusing. It’s not all the teachers’ fault though – the district tells you to figure it out. It’s not a perfect system. But to be Taco in a Bag worthy, there should be one set way for every school, and class – This applies to Canvas or PowerSchool or anything else.
Don’t change it, unless it’s broken, for like 2-3 years.
As a student, when you finally get a system down and figure out where a teacher’s putting stuff, that’s great. But going to the next teacher and finding the system completely different, that’s not so helpful.
Google and All the Pieces
When you have Google tied into the school system and everyone is blocked who doesn’t have the Google school email address, it makes things very complicated, because they can’t see the info. Kids who send info to the parents are told they can’t send it to people outside the system.
There has to be a taco in a bag way. This is something above my tech pay-grade. I know Google wants to help the world, If anyone has ideas how to taco in a bag Google, join the school board.
Multiple Web Log-Ins
There are so many cool educational tools out there- you want to bring them into your classrooms – When teachers bring additional resources with additional logins, it makes for additional confusion – not every web resource lets you create a six-character password; the username could be an issue too. You may have three resources for one class, with three different user names and passwords- and you have to remember them all. How can we taco in a bag this?
Teachers have website with every resource, the link, instructions, maybe a loom video, and give everyone the same username and show parents how to recover passwords. Then save an email to cut and paste when parents email.
Love your lesson plans the way they are right now – don’t add a new tool until you have time in the summer. Accept your lesson plans as being good enough.
For parents and students; create taco in a bag systems for passwords for FSA’s for college, school websites, FAFSA, web addresses too. If you’re constantly reaching out to teachers for web access, it’s clear you don’t have a taco in a bag system to stay organized, and I say this knowing I don’t have a Taco in a Bag system for this particular thing either.
In episode 020 of School Counselor Gone Rogue, we chat about whether students need to learn coding in schools. Hear my argument why not and the importance of digital organization!
We’re not perfect. Take a minute. Look at your life that requires the mess and prep and cleanup of an entire taco station and see if there’s not a way to make it a taco in a bag. It’s just as delicious, but practical and easy to carry and clean up.
Please feel free to leave a review of School Counselor Gone Rogue on Itunes. You can add this School Counselor Gone Rogue Tough Love Minute to your flash briefings in Amazon’s Echo system too!
How to organize Canvas, Power School and other school systems
Keep track of student passwords
Marni Pasch| Host of School Counselor Gone Rogue| Academic Coach | Team Pasch Academic Coaching
I work with students in grades 6th and higher, who struggle with academic confidence and motivation. I help them survive school with less stress by helping them create concrete goals, tackle procrastination and learn creative study techniques. I empower students to take charge of their education and reach their goals. I do this through individual or group coaching so students achieve success in life, school, career readiness and their social endeavors.