Whatever your politics, it is shocking that immediately after the huge teacher-win of shifted face-to-face teaching and learning to emergency remote learning in mere days that teachers will be furloughed to meet state budgets. And yet, here we are. And you may want to tighten your #edtech belt a little. Here are some places to consider saving as you shuffle your budget for your new #edtech diet.
This will be the first ISTE I am not attending in roughly ten years. No surprise, my workgroup offered up our travel budget first round of cuts. But we are going into a school year with the most questions since everyone’s first year of teaching. We need to still learn over the summer. Here are some free and low-cost ideas:
Consider podcasts, of course, for learning on the go this summer. Read: Podcasts for the Times #RemoteLearning
ASCD virtual conference July 16-17th Free! Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) is a long-standing provider of professional development to the nation’s K-12 schools. If the conference does not work for you, consider their variety of free webinars.
Instructure’s CanvasCon is October 15th and a free Virtual Conference! If you use the Canvas learning management system this is a huge opportunity. Sign up immediately! With Keynote speakers like Levar Burton and Sal Kahn this is going to be awesome.
PBS Teacherline offers free courses, with a nice selection of Instructional Technology self-paced courses.
Online Learning Consortium Free Webinars, learn how other districts and schools are solving present-day issues.
ISTE offers some Summer Learning Academy options at lower-cost options than the big summer conference. If you are a member, you can check within your Professional Learning Networks. For my membership dollars, and the prohibitive cost of conference attendance, ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) missed the mark on this summer’s offerings though.
Image and Social Media Services
Subscriptions like Shutterstock or iPhoto are the easiest places to start reducing your monthly or annual obligations. With so many high-quality free photo sites: Pexels, Unsplash,Pixabay, or even (the inexpensive) PhotoDune teachers should immediately cancel these subscriptions.
Consider downgrading Canva as well. Yes, it is such a nice program, but you can resize images via LunaPic and share images another way with your teammates.
For teacher bloggers, Tailwind is nice to schedule Pinterest pins, but it is expensive. Make an effort to gain referrals and/or sign up for the affiliate plans. But once you do that definitely downgrade your plan if you have not earned enough to make your monthly bill. Instead, reinvest in your Pinterest business account (do not promote pins), but find our who your audience is and what they like.
Make a list, like deductions on your tax bill, and make sure there are no surprises in the upcoming year for subscription renewals.
Services like TrueBill, Trim, and BillShark all work with your bank account information to find savings in the bills you are already paying. To varying degrees, they also manage your subscriptions. You will want to compare for yourself and decide the best route for you and your family.
Maybe the furloughs can be changed before the year is out, but if not, you definitely need to tighten your #edtech belt. I’m right there on this new diet with you. Please share your tips and ideas in the comments – we can all use some help!