Chris Chappotin, Principal at STEAM Middle School in Burleson, TX
From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis
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Today’s guest, Chris Chappotin, shares how he uses Notion to organize himself. He talks about how to get started and why people use it. This is a quick seven-minute overview podcast and I’ve also included many resources to get started with Notion.
How I Use Notion in the Classroom
Recently, my students wrote a website on Web 3.0 using Notion. Notion is the closest replacement for Wikispaces (which is now defunct) that I have found. Notion is free for educators. (However, I’d like to note that if you create a group space as I did with my students, you’re limited on the number of blocks you use to 1,000, which goes surprisingly fast.) I hope you’ll experiment and learn about Notion.
Free Educator Wellness Toolkit
How to Use Notion
1. Sign up for an educator account.
First, when you sign up, make sure you use your school address and sign up for an educator account if you’re a teacher or student.
2. Review a tutorial to learn Notion basics.
My favorite “getting started” tutorial is Thomas Frank’s Notion introductory videos.
Note that Notion can be used in the way you see fit. If you want to replace a system like Evernote, then start with how to turn Notion into a notetaking system.
Now as a blogger, honestly, Diigo still has some of my favorite features for turning bookmarks into blog posts and Google Docs, however, many content creators are using Notion for tracking.
If you want to get your students started, try this reasource by Elli Abdal, Productivity Tips for Students.
Other YouTube channels with excellent Notion resources:
- August Bradley – A YouTube channel with a lot of resources
- Introductory Videos – Red Gregory
- Introductory Videos – Thomas Frank
3. Link other services to Notion.
I’ll admit that one of the best things I learned in today’s show is Chris’ offhand mention of Readwise. As an avid reader and user of the Kindle to read my ebooks, the ability to review my notes via email (and potentially move those notes into Notion) is a great advantage.
4. Find Templates
My Tips on Notion
I did have a season where I put all of my planning into Notion and it is a very flexible tool. However, I’ve moved back to what has always worked for my task management — my own paper forms (now designed in Canva.) That said, Notion, I like to use for clippings, databases, and anything I have to track.
I also loved using it with my students for writing and collaborating and wish they would give team spaces free to schools. If it is a small class, the 1,000 block limit can be used.
How do you use Notion? Leave your thoughts in the comment or tweet me on Twitter @coolcatteacher.
Chris Chappotin has been serving as Assistant Superintendent for Boyd ISD in Boyd, TX since January 2020. Chris grew up in Farmington, IA, Irving & Keller, TX, and completed an undergraduate degree in Psychology at Abilene Christian University. After a 14-year career in student & worship ministry, public speaking, and starting churches, in 2011, Chris began working for Burleson ISD in Burleson, TX as a 4th and 5th Grade Math and Reading Special Education Teacher at J.W. Norwood Elementary School. Chris earned a Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies from the University of Texas at Arlington, and was promoted into administration in Burleson ISD where he served as Academic Associate Principal at Centennial High School and Academic Associate Principal and Principal at STEAM Middle School. Currently, he is pursuing a Doctorate of Educational Leadership at Texas Tech University with an expected graduation date of May 2024. Chris is passionate about leading empowerment organizations, designing innovative instructional systems, and accomplishing both in the context of meaningful, team-oriented relationships. He has been featured on the Teach Better, Aspire Lead, Teachers On Fire, and Many Voices of Grit podcasts. Furthermore, he was the parody writer and voice of Burleson ISD’s school year launch videos from 2016 to 2019. Chris and his wife, Heidi, will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary on July 25, 2022. They have 5 children: Torie (21), Ryan (15), Hudson (12), Ava Grace (10), and Sam (7), and live in Boyd, TX with their 2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 snakes, and 1 goat.
Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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