Planbook Technology

We are a geek family. There I said it.  My husband is a former software engineer now a working photographer.  My son is a software engineer. I was an Instructional Technology Specialist (computer teacher) for 5 years.

So embracing new technology is kind of fun for me. I like to see if I can break software by asking it to do something on the edge of functionality. And yes, I know how geeky that sounds.

This year, after using Word and Excel to create planbooks for myself, I am embracing the cloud. Evernote, dropbox, google docs…. whatever can make something created in one place visible and functional in another.

I stumbled across two planbook packages that looked promising, but have decided to work with planbookedu.  Here’s what I like:  I can pull out both Common Core and Massachusetts state (2004) standards and attach them to records, I can create a template, I can work on any of the platforms that I have access to (iPad, Mac, PC). I can easily share my planbook, something that I have had to do in the past when I worked as a Special Ed. inclusion partner classroom.

What is still unknown – because our school is being rewired – is whether or not the planbookedu website will be blocked by our school filter.  Dont’ laugh,  I assume nothing in all things involving the web and education.

What I hope to accomplish through using planbookedu is a greener approach to lesson planning.  Last year, each week’s plans required 10 pages of paper (and laserjet toner). This year I should need zero paper.  Even if the web address gets blocked by the school system’s filter, I can download my plans to reside locally on my iPad.  And when a substitute is needed, I can attach those same plans to the request made through the program our district uses for teacher attendance.

This all seems like a workable solution to the huge notebook full of paper that I’ve had to keep in my classroom to prove I actually do make plans. Free versions of the software are available (no sharing functionality) and a full-function 14-day trial also available.