Paperless Planning

My filing cabinet in my classroom is filed with paper.  I really dislike worksheets but they are unavoidable in some cases.  My New Year’s Resolution: Get Rid of the Paper.

To be honest, one of the reasons that I use the filing cabinet method for storing things is the easy way to see what is coming up next.  When planning, I sit with the daybook and go through to see what is next.  I have tried using Pages/Word but always ended up not being able to maintain any of the forms that I made.

After months of searching, I decided to give the trial version of Planbook 2.5 a try.

Planbook is created by Hellmansoft, a company created by teacher Jeff Hellman.  Visit the company’s website to learn more about the program but my favourite features so far are:

  • the easy interface for adding lesson details
  • the ability to link websites or attach documents to lesson themselves allowing me to easily plan and retrieve files/websites as I teach
  • the printing of your timetable (in various forms) is extremely easy
  • the ability to share your timetable online for parents/students/staff
  • you can create and save multiple timetables
  • a variety of “day” types (your choice of cycle days, rotations, or setting up something custom for those special events)

There are still areas of improvement for this product.  I did have some issues getting used to assigning classes specific start and end times as weird things were happening after punching in the times.  After email Jeff Hellman, he was very quick to respond with a simple solution (use 24-hour times instead of 12-hour).  That being said, more help documentation for this program might be useful as not all teacher are as comfortable on technology as myself.  Based on the websites, frequent updates seem to remedy many small bugs in the product and I look forward to seeing future developments.

As more of my lessons become digital, I might be able to get rid of a few of these darn filing cabinets.

What do other “Edutech” geeks out there use for digital daybooks?  I have not found many options that are as easy as Planbook.

j.

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