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Online Teacher Planners (getting rid of the black folder!)

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Started by Claire Amos 21 Jun 2011 2:50pm () Replies (49)

Hi there,

I am keen to track down a good online Teacher Planner (and grade book). I have looked at LearnBoost and some other American ones, that don't seem quite right. I am trialling Outlook Calendar, but it doosen't have the other functionality (like gradebooks etc). I guess I could use a combo of Google Calendar and Forms, but I would prefer a bit of a pre-prepared package. Any suggestions??? I would love to have trialled it and be in a position to recommend something to our teachers for the beginning of 2012.

Thanks Claire


  • Rachel Boyd (View all users posts) 27 Jun 2011 8:34pm ()

    Hmmm I would be quite interested in people's thoughts on this too.

    Most of my teachers who have moved away from their black folders are creating their weekly planners in Word (and often hyperlinking to their unit plans for each subject etc). I thought about using Google Calendar but I just can't put in the detail required.

    I have ended up creating a template of the week in word and turning it into a google doc. I have a different doc for each week currently. I can then share my planning with others (or print it!) if need be. Next term, I will see if I can format everything so all my weekly planning for T3 can be in one google doc.

  • Charlotte Hills (View all users posts) 26 May 2016 6:07pm ()

    Hello Rachel

    We are using google sheets.  All our planning and data is stored on these.  

    Once you get used to it, it works fine.  But remembering to update is a pain.  When I used the black book I'd jot all over it.



  • Tara T-J (View all users posts) 27 Jun 2011 8:43pm ()

    I use google calendar and where more detail is required I attach a google doc.

    I think this would be particularly powerful if you were in a school where everyone used these tools.  It would take collaborative planning to a whole new level.  Imagine opening your calendar one day to find the teacher next door had popped some planning in.  A bit of pipe dream for me at the moment.  It wont happen overnight ... but it will happen ;)

  • Suzie Vesper (View all users posts) 27 Jun 2011 8:47pm ()

    I currently plan for my lessons in a Google spreadsheet. I think there are some good ideas here - I like the idea of combining a Google Calendar and series of docs. Are schools 'allowing' teachers to use digital versions though or are they holding on to the black books to have something physical to give to ERO?

  • Karen Spencer (View all users posts) 28 Jun 2011 7:19am ()

    Love the vision of a whole school collaborative toolSmile. Anything that helps break down the walls between us all must surely safe time and energy reinventing that old wheel. Meanwhile, I see that Apple have a shareware download called Planbook: http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/home_learning/planbook.html

  • Jane Armstrong Bos (View all users posts) 28 Jun 2011 1:56pm ()

    Digital planning is so much better for longevity and re-purposing without effort. I have seen this Australian software package, Guru planner, for teachers http://guruplanner.com.au/ but haven't actually tried it myself. You can get a 30 day free trial

  • Jo Fothergill (View all users posts) 29 Jun 2011 3:49pm ()

    I tried guruplanner for a year but found it too restrictive. Haven't heard of planbook before - will check it out.

  • Jo Fothergill (View all users posts) 29 Jun 2011 4:54pm ()

    Oh - I see that Planbook also has an iPad version too ... that could be good.

  • Mary Rivers (View all users posts) 02 Jul 2011 8:05pm ()

    I am also keen to see what turns up here. Our school is very much at the beginning of our e-learning journey and the 'black book' is quite firmly entrenched at this stage. However, I am iniatiating the move to doing our roll online and getting our daily notices online next term, so this will be another step in the 'right' direction. At present I don't use a folder and just use Word as there is no one to share with - will keep my eye on your developments.

  • Wendy Stafford (View all users posts) 10 Jul 2011 8:51pm ()

    In reading this discussion I wonder if it would be worthwhile developing an access database purely for this purpose? OR are you all looking at having your planning accessible to others via the web.

    As an aside, I used Google Calendar but have recently moved to KeepandShare... you may like to check this out and see if it provides more options in regards to planning than what Google Calendar currently does. 

    The school I am working in at the moment uses Teachers PAL 21C (a planning and assessment tool) - not sure if this fits in with your discussion but if you'd like to know more, let me know and I'll share further (nb: you wont find the resource on the web yet as it has been developed specifically for our school and in the initial stages of being developed externally).

  • Enabling e-Learning (View all users posts) 12 Jul 2011 9:26am ()

    Your comment about a teacher database for collaborative sharing is spot on, Wendy, and I think a few people in this thread are beginning to take a step beyond 'my planner' to look at collaborative approaches that archive, connect and develop resources across a school/dept/syndicate.Smile

    Has anyone got experience of Hapara that they would like to share?: http://hapara.com/teacher-dashboard-for-google-apps

    I know that Point England shared their experience at ULearn 10...and Lenva Shearing shared her expertise at EduCamp Welly...

  • Suzie Vesper (View all users posts) 12 Jul 2011 9:45am ()

    We use Teacher Dashboard (created by Hapara) for our online ESOL trial school. We have had a few teething issues as they have developed the tool but overall it has been a wonderful way to keep track of changes to student Google docs classified into different folders (tabs in Teacher Dashboard). You can also use it to track changes to Google sites set up by students. Teacher Dashboard will create a set of folders inside each student's account during the setup process with all the permissions set up at the same time.

    In the Teacher Dashboard view that teachers can access, there is a widget for each student inside a tab which corresponds to a Google folder in the students' Google Docs account. You have a tab for each of the folders that Teacher Dashboard generated during the setup. There is a list of all the documents within the student's folder inside this widget. You can see at a glance when the doc was last updated with a dash showing it was the student that updated and the name of the Google user if it was someone else (including yourself). Hovering your mouse over the name of a doc gives you a pop up preview of the doc which is also helpful to remind you of what that doc is about.

    There is also the option to link an assessment doc (in our case a spreadsheet) from each student widget inside Teacher Dashboard so you can jump to this individual assessment doc from any of the tabs.

    While we had to wait for awhile, you can now also push docs out to students into a folder in their account. This is a big time saver over copying a master doc for each student and then sharing it with each student's email.

  • Enabling e-Learning (View all users posts) 19 Jul 2011 4:13pm ()

    Thanks, Suzie. The way this tool works to pull different streams together is the 'killer app' part of it, it seems. Keep us posted on how it develops in your school.

  • Charlotte Hills (View all users posts) 26 May 2016 6:05pm ()

    Hello Suzie

    I also use Hapara Workspace and am very interested in the ability to link an assessment doc from each student widget inside Teacher Dashboard so you can jump to this individual assessment doc from any of the tabs.

    How would I do this?  Or is there a Hapara link you are able to flick me?

    Thanks in anticipation.


  • Charlotte Hills (View all users posts) 26 May 2016 6:03pm ()

    Hi... the link to Hapara isn't working.

  • Tara T-J (View all users posts) 10 Jul 2011 9:07pm ()

    Interestingly, since my last post, I have changed my planning methods.  I was lucky enough to attend educampTT where Helen King shared the way Pt England plan.  They do it all through Google Sites. 

    I have been playing around with this and have found that it has many advantages:

    1. - Everything is in the same place

    2. - It is easy to access past plans through the search function

    3. - It has enormous potential for collaboration within and outside your institution

    4. - If we are prepared to share it via a CC license - lessons can be remixed to suit your own class

    5. - It is a great way to reflect on your plans and link relevant blogposts of examples of how the plan went.

    6. - It seems to be less of a mundane sunday evening activity :)

    Here is an example of one my writing plans (please note these have been thrown together retrospectively as I have only just come accross this way of doing it).  I am hoping for a better result next term as I add things in 'live').  


    You can access everything from this link but bear in mind that it is a work in progress!


  • Enabling e-Learning (View all users posts) 12 Jul 2011 9:22am ()

    Thanks for sharing this, TaraLaughing. What a great way to store and archive planning. How easy do you think it would be for teachers to find each other's plans, do you think? How Helen and her colleagues manage this. I think they are using Hapara....?

  • Wendy Stafford (View all users posts) 11 Jul 2011 7:58pm ()

    It looks good Tara - unfortunately Google wont play ball with me so I'm unable to create for myself tonight - hopefully it's just a glitch and I'll be able to hook up tomorrow??? 

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