Online Lesson Planning

Do you use an online tool for lesson planning?

I have to admit, I am THE worst for writing lesson plans.  In the summer I get my daybook/lesson planner looking all pretty and organized for the year. Every summer I vow that this will be the year that I plan ahead and use my lesson plan binder every day. What do you think happens by September 10th? My daybook sits under a pile of resources and photocopies and is lost in the abyss that I call a desk.

Enter online lesson planning.

I am a techie at heart and since last year I have been searching for a decent online lesson planning tool.  I discovered many that I wasn't keen on for one reason or another.  Finally, a coworker told me about one she had seen an advertisement for called, "Planboard". The best part? It is currently free and it has an ipad app! Here is what the login screen looks like on my ipad.


Now, the app is okay but there are definitely some glitches with it.  I prefer to do my lesson planning from my computer and just use the app at school to view my plans.  One of the things I don't like is that the app is only available if you have wifi.  So, if your school wifi goes out you are SOL unless you can login to a computer. Thankfully, the wifi at my school is pretty good this year.

Once you login for the first time you need to set up your schedule. Here is what the week long timetable looks like. I am off for Spring break this week so I don't have any plans in there yet (WOOT for Spring Break!!)

To enter plans for a day you just click on the class you want to add plans for and an editor pops open.  Here you can type your plans, insert images, attach files (you get 500mb of free storage). You can also write on the sticky note for the day if there are any important reminders like a parent meeting or a student's birthday etc.  You can also insert your curriculum standards! The Common Core State Standards as well as the Ontario Curriculum Expectations are already uploaded into this program! You just click on the standards you want to associate with each lesson and it keeps track of how many standards you have left to teach.


Another option that you can use is to publish and share your lessons. I haven't used this feature yet because I don't have anyone to share my plans with but you could potentially share a link to the plans with a sub if you have the day off or your admin if you need to hand in plans.

I have found this app to be user friendly but as I said before there are some glitches that I'm hoping will be worked out over time (e.g., you can't insert images or curriculum expectations on the ipad).

The company is also working on adding and online mark book which I'm excited to see!

I want so badly to love this app. It has the makings of something great.  I am using it because I like it better than all the other apps out there, but if the little glitches get worked out I think it has great potential!

Do you do online lesson planning or are you a pencil and paper kind of teacher? What program or app do you use?


6 comments

  1. I've heard about online planning and reaaaaally want to try it! I hope they fix their glitches soon so I can use it starting September. Thanks for the great info and screenshots!

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  2. All the teachers, including myself, use Planbook.com. We all LOVE it. There is a yearly fee, but I feel it is worth it.

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    1. I'm going to look into this one too. I just purchased one called planbook touch and it is okay but I like Planboard better.

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    2. I like planbook.com as well. Currently, I am trying to decide which one works better for me this year, planbook.com or planboardapp. The fee for planbook.com is $12.

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  3. Is it possible to upload a standard schedule (like our 5 day schedule) and have it automatically inserted into each day? Thanks for sharing this idea. I've never heard of online planning/using software to plan before, so maybe this is an alternative to help me plan a little better too! I wonder also if you can look back in your plans (from year to year)?? Happy March break!

    K.

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    1. Kristin, I have mine set up for a 5 day schedule and it works great!! And when there is a PD Day you just plug it in as an off day and it shift everything automatically for you! That is one of my favourite things about this program.
      I'm not sure about year to year but I can look back at my plans from a few months ago.

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