While you are busy putting stickers on your planners, re-working your caseload and laminating, laminating, laminating… don’t forget your iPad.
I’m sure you have had fiendish moments of downloading tons of free apps that you have to swipe 17 pages to find the one you want. You have caked-in coffee splatters adorning your screen that it almost looks like a new type of screen protector. And let’s not talk about how many photos you have of your students as that could take up half the storage on your iPad alone. So with 2017 just around the corner, why not put your iPad at the top of your New Years Resolutions and by completing the following:
- You will know your ‘real’ iPad: Before you do anything, look at how it’s currently functioning. How much space have you used? How much space do you have left? What is taking up most of your space? Apps? Photos and videos? It’s great to note these things because when you clean it up, it will be that much more satisfying, plus, it saves that message that your iPad is full when you really can’t afford it to be. Note: Go to Settings > General > About to see this.
- You will clean iPad: Get a wipe, wipe that screen and then look at the colour of that wipe and you’ll definitely do this more than once a year. Don’t forget to check if there is dust (or crusty bits) stuck around the buttons. If you have your iPad in a case, take it out and check the grip of your screen protector.
- You will go through my photos, videos and audio: This is a big ‘delete’ exercise. Go through pictures of your students you don’t need, photos taken in therapy, audio files where you have recorded speech and language samples… anything that you don’t need so that you can free up some space. If you use your iPad for both work and home, export everything that isn’t work related. Yes, I’m talking about those recipes, mood boards and picture sequences on how to tie a scarf 25 ways. Just a tip – I like to keep a few personal photos on my iPad for different reasons – one is a selfie so that I can insert my face into social stories or send a picture of myself to parents/teachers -this has been really useful for a change of therapists or when I have new students. Another is a picture of my cool bird, because he does really funny stuff and talking about pets is a nice little conversational starter (follow me on Instagram @adventuresinslp to see what I mean).
- You will organise apps into (more) folders: If you struggle to find an app or have pages and pages within one category such as ‘Language’, break them down and make smaller folders. I have folders for ‘grammar’, ‘syntax’, ‘verbs’ and ‘asking questions’ just to name a few. Sometimes I group by age (such as young and old semantics) and other times by function (interactive books and ‘normal’ books). Think about how you can group your other non-SLP apps. I have a ‘Reinforcers’ folder for quick games, ‘Arts &Crafts’ for apps such as colouring and an ‘SLP Tools’ for apps including age finders, dictionaries and data collection.
- You will try out your apps: If there is an app that you have downloaded and put into a folder but haven’t used, give it a go. If you like it, keep it. If you don’t – get rid of it. If you don’t know an app by it’s icon, it means that you are probably not going to use it, so get to know it and decide whether it’s worth the 375MB that it’s taking up. Think of this as something like Oprah’s tips on cleaning out your wardrobe.
- You will delete old data and students: Look through your apps where you can ‘add’ a student’s name or their photo and start fresh. Delete the students that are not on your caseload anymore but make sure that you export any necessary data such as assessments and therapy progress.
- You will upload iPad with new materials: My two favourite apps are iBooks and Notability for organising all my materials. I have EVERY single articulation and phonology set that I make uploaded on my iPad because my kids think that just because it is on an iPad it is way more exciting than the paper version I have printed and laminated. The best thing that I have done has been to upload SLP charts such so that I can quickly reference norms – follow my Pinterest page to see a selection.
- You will adjust notifications: I am one of those people who doesn’t like to be notified of anything, but sometimes you just click any button to make a message disappear… only to be notified that you haven’t used the app in while… so you close the message… only to be notified an hour later, thus the vicious notification cycle continues. Sort this out by going to Settings > Notifications.
- You will back everything up: This is my big 2017 goal, because I must have only connected my iPad to my computer twice last year! If you haven’t already, back your iPad up and don’t risk losing all your organisational efforts and apps.
- You will update apps: This is like your email inbox – you either read a message straight away, or you have a tiny number that keeps getting bigger and bigger until it is so big that you just give up. Remember to update your apps on both your device and computer.