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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


  • Kate Friedwald (View all users posts) 08 Mar 2016 8:41pm ()

    Hi all

    Tony I love your big picture thinking, wouldn't it be amazing if teacher planning was that transparent and freely available to all educators throughout the country!  I have found that most teachers who do plan digitally are usually more than happy to share their planning with others for the use as templates etc, I know for one mine has gone far and wide over the years.

    I have recently moved out of the classroom where I taught Year 5/6 along with being e-learning leader at Wairakei School in Chch. I actually missed the traditional black paper based planner altogether (much to my disappointment after being excited through teachers collage).  I initially used word for all planning and excel for anything data related and quickly moved to GAFE which I have and continue to find extremely helpful.  To begin with this was solely on my own, the planning wasn't shared with anyone (we hadn't adopted GAFE as a school yet and were operating on a single cell set up).  As time went on and interaction with others increased files became shared and eventually collaborative.  Within 3 years we moved completely to using GAFE as a school with the majority of staff comfortable using it for collaborative planning.

    Long Term Plans, Unit Plans, Group Plans, Week Plans, Recording, Reporting, Class Profiles, Meetings etc were all done through GAFE.  At a most basic level this allows any and all staff to check what others are up to at any given time and makes finding planning for relievers etc more efficient.  The real benefit came however as we moved to an ILE and could start to work together on doc, sheets etc.  I also shared a lot of planning with students and had specific docs set up to house their learning and accountability for tasks.

    Love the digital planning world !

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