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FORUM: Digital Teacher Planners - an Enabling e-Learning event

“Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, allowing us to do things more quickly and efficiently. But too often it seems to make things harder, leaving us with fifty-button remote controls, digital cameras with hundreds of mysterious features and book-length manuals, and cars with dashboard systems worthy of the space shuttle.” James Surowiecki

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Digitising data means you can input ‘stuff’ once, re-use, tweak, modify share and even co-construct with others - all without re-inventing the wheel. Having good systems and templates enables us to organise all kinds of things and having links to calendars/diaries allow us to organise those things over a period of time.

Pile of papers

So if we applied this thinking to teacher planning, how might this look? How can we take the existing paper-based planners and make them more efficient for the purposes of teaching and learning. Can we make these available and adaptable for others to use/share/tweak/add to as well (teachers/students)?
The article outlines 10 benefits for using digital planners for teachers:

10 benefits of digital planners

“The future of teaching surely needs to involve a community-based approach to content creation. Consider the potential of organizing and pooling our best content onto a common, yet customizable platform.” http://www.teachthought.com/pedagogy/10-benefits-of-digital-planning-tools-for-teachers/ 

Where is your thinking at? Are you tired of using a paper-based planner? Are you thinking about using digital tools (GAFE, Office 365, OneNote, iUgo) or are you currently trialing a system of your own? We’d love to hear from you. Feel free to add a comment below and share a little bit about you and your circumstances:

  • Your name
  • Your role
  • Your school
  • Your experiences with digital planners
    • what you use, what works for you and why
    • whom you share planning with (if you happen to do so) 

Also join us as we chat with Tam Yuill Proctor (St Andrews College) sharing her experiences planning with OneNote and Bernice Swain (Lyttleton School) talking about how GAFE tools can help with digital planning in the following live event.

smiley LIVE WEBINAR: Digital teaching planners, 17 March 2016 @ 3:45-4:45 pm

More and more teachers are moving away from the traditional paper-based teacher planners towards digital solutions such as Google Docs and Office 365. In this webinar we will hear from classroom teachers who have used various digital systems in their planning. They will discuss how they have gone about their planning; why they chose the digital platform they are using; and share their experiences. This webinar will be supported by a thread in the Enabling e-Learning | Teaching group and hosted in Adobe Connect with Tessa Gray andNathaniel Louwrens. REGISTER NOW!


Also see: 


Image sources: Flickr, Creative Commons


  • Tony Cairns (View all users posts) 03 Mar 2016 5:39pm ()

    Hi I am Tony Cairns, teacher at Wellington High School, I used excel for planning in 2007 - 2009, and shared this publically with all students parents and staff, (Excel allows copying and easier movement of lessons from cell to cell and day to day as wella s colour coding)

    used Google calendar in  2010 - 2013 and that again was totally public and was easier than Excel as it allowed the setting up of reminders, meetings, events, hangouts and integration with school, subject Level 1, level 2 and Level 3 Assessment calendars.

    I published 2 year blocks of junior and senior classes for each year 2007 - 2013, It is easier in Google calendar to transfer lessons in and out of years, Two year planning allows all subjects classes, topics and events to be planned in an orderly and time sensitive wy. it does require a lot of updating as event change over two years but means you can be sure all areas are covered.

    I also use the black book planners and colour code all events in them  - in the last 3 years 2014 - 2016 i use hundreds of small post-it notes in the black planner to allow me to move events around easily. 

    I actually prefer the black book planner as it is easier to enter data BUT it cannot be shared, updated annotated or used by others to meet, share and plan so Google calendar is the best. I have weekly 1 hour Faculty meetings, Faculty PD, Year 9 meetings, Y11 meetings, Y13 meetings, Integrated Group learning (we call it tukutahi) and daily15 minute morning catch ups for school and year level.

    I would like all teachers in all areas in all schools to share all their planning, scheduling and resources so we can pick what works from round new zealand. i would like templates for schedules to be app able so they can be a module plug and plan insert into calendars. I would like all teachers to have online meetings and online hangouts to facilitate planning and learning. I would like all internals to be digital, online moderated, marked and cross marked in groups online as there is a great deal of variation between, teachers, classes, subjects, schools regions and topics. i would like free turnitin software for all essays and assignments for all students to cut down on copy and pasting - this could be automatic through a google classroom portal turn it in link up - and be available free to all students so they could check their own work in draft for plagiarism and copying.

    I would like all lessons to be available online (where appropriate in an opt in module) so all teachers could review revisit and revise their own and other lessons to see how better to teach (Singapore has this model - and it was featured by Andreas Schleicher in the festival of education seminar in wellington  - tho alas only a handful of teachers were there to see it  - BUT i did video all the FOE talks and they are available online.

    Cheers Tony Cairns

    ps i am doing a Master's in Education specializing in eLearning so these topics are very interesting to me

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