Educator Resource: Digital Desks for Students

A screenshot of a digital desk setup for students.
Emily Storms

Try This: Use a Digital Desk! 

Try This is a series of blog posts geared towards educators that features smart but simple tips from KLS teachers. Our hope is that these bite-size ideas are something you can implement in your own classroom right away. We’d love to hear how it goes. Leave a comment or tag us on social media @khanlabschool if you try any of these strategies! 

In this installment of our "Try This" series, we wanted to share a template one of our Lower School ELA teachers is using to keep both her hybrid and remote classes organized. 

KLS Lower School ELA Specialist Rebecca Chan got the idea to use a digital desk format to organize her classes from this Edutopia article

"I'm using the digital desks as a space for basic comprehension checks with our current novel study," Chan said. "I thought it was a brilliant way to do a quick accountability check and get immediate feedback about what students were understanding while remote."

Inspired by the Edutopia article, Chan made her own digital desk template to use with her Humanities 4 class. 

A sample image of the blank digital desk template is at the top of this blog post. You can see the KLS Digital Desk template here, or click here to make your own editable copy.

Chan's template has a link to the student's private journal over the image of the composition notebook. This is where Humanities 4 students complete the in-depth writing assignments for their novel study each week. Other students do not have access to it, but Chan does and can give feedback digitally there. 

If you're curious, you can peek at some example journal slides here or make your own editable copy here. These sample questions are related to the Walk Two Moons novel study the class is currently working on, but of course, you can use this format to organize any content area your class is studying. 

"The digital format makes it easy to see what students are working on," said Chan. "It gives students more independence than in a traditional back and forth." 

Using digital desks and this format for organizing student journals is useful now during remote and hybrid, but I can see it being a useful way to manage class materials even when instructing in person.

What do you think? Do you have an idea of how you could try this in your own classroom? Don't forget to tag us @khanlabschool if you do!

  • Educator Resource
  • Lower School