I was all about the weekly classroom newsletter as a beginning kindergarten teacher. It had cutesy graphics by DJ Inkers, homework information, tips and tricks for parents, and what I thought was an abundance of resources for my classroom parents. As my workload increased, I found myself slacking on the newsletter front; what had been a weekly resource was turning into a monthly gig.

It wasn’t until I went to a session at a local Google Apps for Education (GAFE) Summit that I learned that newsletters didn’t have to boring, paper things – they could be digital, they could be engaging, and they could be fun.

Sarah Malchow's newsletter, "Malchow's Tech Bytes"

Sarah Malchow’s newsletter, “Malchow’s Tech Bytes”

The presenter at this particular session introduced the class to Sara Malchow’s newsletter – a completely interactive newsletter made through Google Slides. (I also liked Meagan Kelly’s newsletter – something she shared with her students and families.) There were hyperlinks! There were animations! It was colorful and pretty – but it was also a source of information! And I knew that I needed to have one for myself.

That was two years ago.

The time to get that newsletter done never came – until my new job and a new purpose for the newsletter came into perspective. As a Technology TOSA, I have the amazing opportunity of working at four different elementary schools across our district. I go into TK-5th grade classrooms, working with approximately 1,200 students (give or take) and about 53 teachers. And I have teachers who are actually using the technology and want to learn more!

Oropeza's Tech Bytes Newsletter

My own newsletter for teachers

So, taking inspiration from Malchow and so many other educators who have transitioned to digital newsletters, I dove in and created a newsletter of my own. I’ve started simple but have my staples – my notes to teachers (where I review what I’ve been working on with students and where we will be going in the next month), no-cost-low-cost professional development opportunities coming up, a “Did you know..” section (where I include information on free resources for teachers), and finally, a chrome extension/add-on or website of the month.

Short, digestible, and to the point – most of the time. Something that the teachers I work with could read and pull information from – maybe even get inspired by. (My journalistic heart skips a beat every time I see teachers live on the document!)

Do you create digital newsletters for your class? Who do you share them with? Let me know by giving me a shout-out on Twitter @KristinOropeza – I would love to see what you’ve created!

About Kristin Oropeza
Kristin is a full-time special education teacher, contract consultant, and educational content writer. She is a Google Certified Teacher (Level 1 and 2), Google Certified Trainer, and MIE Expert for 2020-2021.

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