Quick Tips for Your Next Vacation or Break

We here at Digital and Multimedia Learning hope each of you had a wonderful and restful Spring Break two weeks ago!  Studies have shown that it is beneficial to unplug to provide your brain with a full vacation from time to time.  While we here in the Cobb County School District came back from Spring Break well-rested, soon thereafter we launched into standardized testing with the Georgia Milestones Assessment .  It is safe to assume that many of us, especially classroom teachers, had very little time to maintain an online presence.  Below are some tips* to keep your social media accounts active while you are mentally and physically away from your desk.

  • Tip #1: Schedule blog posts in advance.
    • Time can, at times, seem like a scarce resource.  When you do have more free time on hand, why not take a moment to pre-write your blog posts?  Some of the most popular blogging platforms offer this feature.  Below are instructions on how you can schedule posts on your chosen platform.
    • Your pre-scheduled blog posts could include student resources for upcoming lessons, PowerPoint notes, test notifications, etc.
  • Tip #2: Jot down blog post ideas directly into blog.
    • Most blogging platforms have their own mobile apps.  Each time a post idea comes to mind, you can jot your ideas down into a new post and save it through the blogging app.  If this gives you some reservations, you can use your phone or tablet’s note-taking app instead or you can email your blog post ideas to yourself.  Whatever method you choose, keeping your notes in a safe place that you can easily access at a later time, will keep you from feeling the pains of writer’s block.
  • Tip #3: Schedule social media (Twitter/Instagram/Facebook) posts in advance.
    • If most of your focus is on other social media avenues such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, you can use a few resources to help you schedule posts in advance.  Some resources we found are below:
    • If you opt to use Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook to communicate with students, parents, or your school community, you can pre-schedule updates on school or class, notices, and advertise upcoming events.  Remember, there is nothing wrong with posting advertisements for events more than once.
  • Tip #4: Use an app to “collect” interesting links.
    • You can collect links and organize them with tags by using something like Pocket. With it’s Chrome extension (a little button you can have pop up on your Chrome browser), plus its app, and website, you can save interesting links wherever you are. Then you can revisit your links and look through them according to the tags you included.  Use these to provide support or inspiration for your blog posts or as items to be retweeted or shared on Facebook.
    • Resources such as Flipboard allow for you to create your own “magazine” which is a collection of articles from a variety of sources.  You can organize the magazines by theme, content, audience, and can share them publicly or keep them private.
    • Other resources such as RebelMouse collect content based on topic or hashtag and put them in one stream.  This stream can be embedded into a website and can pull content from Twitter as well as Instagram.  Scoop.It on the other hand, works similarly, however it serves more as a newsfeed for content around a topic.  You can then push this content out to your desired social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook.
  • Tip #5: Automate your online tasks as often as possible.
    • IFTT works a lot like the personal assistant many of us could use (especially in Education!).  Once you sign in online or via their iOS or Android app and grant it access to your social media accounts, you can create what they call “recipes.”  If you do something or some action occurs, such as a new Twitter direct message coming your way, IFTT knows that you want it to follow up with another action, such as sending that direct message to you in email.  Some other recipes include “if I post an image to Instagram, then save a copy of it in Dropbox” or if I receive a comment on my blog, then send it to me in email.”

*We hope these tips help you save time while managing your online presence.  Of course, they are suggestions and by being included in this post as suggestions are not endorsement of any of these specific resources, tools, products, or companies by the Digital and Multimedia Learning Department nor the Cobb County School District.

Let us know if you have additional tips to share or just reach out to say hello!

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