As more and more learning resources become digitized, online file storage has become the new student locker, and online folders have become the new folder system. Because of this, it’s important to teach students strategies for managing these learning spaces. By helping students become organized and efficient in retrieving online files, we can help them redirect their energy and time to more important matters like learning academic content.
Tips for Digital File Management
- Use consistent file-naming conventions.
- Use unique and descriptive titles for all files.
- Select titles that reflect the file’s content.
- Be consistent in naming your files.
- Use keywords that will aid you in searching.
- Create and organize folders.
- Name folders so that they appear in logical order. (1, 2, 3 comes before A, B, C.)
- Make folders so that you can quickly scan them. (Use color and short names.)
- Make a habit of placing all your materials into these folders.
- Use search and filter features.
- Use the search tools available to locate files on your device or cloud storage.
- Use keywords in your search.
- Use filter options to narrow your search by owner, file type, date, etc.
- Create bookmarks and shortcuts.
- Create a series of bookmark folders on your browser toolbar for important resources
Help students develop a system for organizing and managing their online files by scaffolding the process. Consider beginning by having all students use the same folder structure and naming conventions. By using a single consistent system, you can model and reinforce the process. Then, as students become more adept at managing their files, you can release the responsibility to them and allow them to develop their own personal system. You can also share this one-page summary guide with your students. Feel free to make a copy, customize it to meet your needs, and share it as either a printed or digital copy.
How can I learn more?
For more information about student file management, explore the AVID Open Access article, Develop Your Students’ Digital Organization Skills: eFiles, eBinders, and ePortfolios.