Learn the nuts and bolts. Your school or district will likely offer some professional development about this process. It probably won’t be enough, but take advantage of what is offered. Ask questions. Then, find your own training. For technical aspects about how things work, you can often find helpful tutorial videos on YouTube. Try searching for what you want to learn. For example, searching for “How to make a Google Form” will leads to several helpful videos that you can watch and use to practice at your own pace.

Log in to your Learning Management System (LMS). Most one-to-one programs include a recommended, or required, LMS. This is a password protected portal just for your class where you can post assignments, and discussion questions, and collect students’ digital work. Setting up your class pages on your LMS may take some time initially, but it will save you time later. If you have access to your LMS over the summer, try logging in and looking around.

Start with a problem. As teachers we spend our summers reflecting on changes we want to make and challenges we want to solve. We know plenty of teachers who start by using their LMS or their one-to-one devices to solve one pesky classroom issue. Commit to trying one tool or strategy with your students that you hope will help. Don’t try to change everything about your teaching practice all at once. Digital classrooms aren’t built in a day.

Plan to collaborate. Digital classrooms need digital resources. Many you can find online, but some you will want to make yourself or customize for your students. Digital resources are very easily shared. Generally, I collaborate with my colleagues by sharing a planning Google spreadsheet and then different people add links to articles, videos, or sites we can use to go with the curriculum. We use Dropbox to share documents we have created, graphic organizers, and student activities. Starting this process before you are busy with the day to day needs of being back in school will save you time in the long run.

Next page: Sites to help curate materials