Teachers: Put your plans in the cloud!

By @MrZachG

Until recently, I was a teacher that preferred writing out plans by hand. This may have come as a shock to some that knew me and considered me to be “tech savvy”, but I didn’t care. The idea of constantly pulling up a new Word Document to awkwardly type in bullets for my lessons, which change times according to the day, and then saving them all onto my computer’s hard drive felt like a waste of time compared to my handwritten (and sometimes, drawn) visual lesson plans.

But then the Edtech improved. In the following post, I am going to be outlining 3 benefits I see to using cloud-based lesson planning over handwritten lesson plans. I am going to be specifically focusing on Planboard, but I am sure that other similar websites work in similar ways.

3 Benis to Cloud-Based Lesson Planning

Beni #1: Planboard makes it easy to save lesson plans to the cloud.

When you save plans on Planboard, it automatically saves your work as you type it, much like Google Docs does. This makes it so that your quick notes are never lost as you frantically type them during a lesson (or faculty meeting. . )

It also makes it very easy (one click) to save your work to Google Drive.

google-drive

Who uses external hard drives anymore? Put it in the cloud, for free.

Most all teachers I know use Google products for education to some extent, and nearly all use Google Drive to save their docs to the cloud. Planboard links quickly to your google account, allows for easy, one touch click saving to Google Drive, and then you have your lessons for next year!

Beni #2: Templates, Templates

Most of my lessons tend to have about the same structure, especially the stand alone teaching for Language and Math. My favorite feature of Planboard is that it lets teachers create templates for their lessons. Here’s an example I made for my math block:

screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-2-13-53-pm

My math block template.

Instead of writing these things out, just use Planboard to create a template and you can use it everyday during this time. What you see in the picture above I only had to write once, and then I just fill in the parts in between with what my lesson is going to be. It saves me a lot of time compared to pointlessly writing it out by hand everyday.

Another template-like tool is the class scheduling feature. I don’t know about you, but my schedule changes everyday depending on what specialist classes my students are taking. Spend about 20 minutes plugging in these times in Planboard and you’ll never have to consult your timetable to plan again.

Beni #3: They’re always with you.

Because I am not the most organized person on earth with my belongings, I tended to leave my paper/pencil plan book at school. I would stick post-it notes to my computer, and they would inevitably fall off on the way to work. Lessons that I didn’t write anything down for would disappear into time, as well as those lessons that I wrote on separate paper from my plan book. With Planboard, I never have this issue.

screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-2-28-04-pm

Week-at-a-Glance

Most teachers I know take their laptops everywhere, but not their plan books. Why not just use your laptop? And in this edtech-awesome world of ours, how can you possibly save all of your links that you are going to use during your lessons onto pen and pencil lesson plans? Needing to send your lesson plans to a sub? Just share the link to your Planboard.

screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-2-32-19-pm

An easy stick note feature right above the calendar helps keep me organized. This is the only sticky note that I know of that doesn’t fly away.

Now, the big question: Where did my sticky notes go?  Now they’re always with me, saved into the cloud!

If you haven’t already, please follow me on Twitter @MrZachG, and follow Education Rickshaw here on WordPress.

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