". . .the word of God is not bound." II Tim. 2:9b

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Online Teacher Planners

Who doesn't love the old-fashioned, spiral-bound teacher plan books? They are the ultimate school supply, with their promise of order and accomplishment, their neat boxes ready to be inked in. But this is 2015 already. It's time to store that glorious planner in the Cloud.

So which digital planner is best? There are several viable, free options out there, and I've test-driven two of the major contenders. (I've also paid for an online planner, but it was not worth the investment).

Commoncurriculum.com
Pros: Some aspects user-friendly; attentive tech service; collaboration features

Cons: Glitchy in Chrome; difficult to figure out how to roll classes over to a new year; difficulty sharing unit plans by email

Planboard.chalk.com
Pros: User-friendly to the extreme; speedy tech service answers; easy to attach state standards, including CCSS, to lesson plans; new features added frequently, such as easy collaboration and date-free planning; works great in Chrome

Cons: Few; won't print unit plans (just daily plans), but I think this feature will be available soon

Conclusion: I switched from Commoncurriculum to Planboard gradually as I became frustrated by the limitations of the former. Both companies offer quality technical assistance, but too often the answer from Commoncurriculum was "Sorry, we don't have that feature." The clincher came when I bought a Chromebook and found that my old planner was incompatible with my new browser. I've never regretted the switch, though I can't wait for the ability to print my unit plans.

This is the first year I've done my planning completely online. Yes, I can sympathize with my fellow teachers who still love their paper planners, but there is something wonderful about knowing my plans are at my fingertips whether I'm at my desk at school, on my couch at home, or on my phone in the car. My sub plans look amazing, my adminstrator likes seeing the standards on my lessons, and, not the least of its benefits, my planner loses nothing when the school server crashes. Twice. In one year.

Try a free digital planner for a week. You'll be hooked.

Sadie Robertson "Live Original" 18-Month Agenda


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