My last blog post was written during the last school holiday soon after setting up a site in place of the traditional teacher planner. I shared screenshots of the early, quite crudely built, stages. Five weeks into the term and things have evolved somewhat.
To recap, when deciding to take lesson planning online I started with Planboard App and other ready built apps. Finding it cumbersome to move so far from my resources in Google Drive, and inspired by a colleague on #engchatnz, I then moved to Google sheets (with URL links to drive) at the beginning of this academic year. Sheets for five classes was messy and hard to maintain so during Easter I decided to use a google site to curate all my resources and links.
It is definitely an undertaking, which will take all of this academic year, and some of the next, to build the look and function I would like. As teachers we are always on the hoof, or the fly, and sometimes sitting down at a computer screen is not the most convenient way to create or record teaching steps. I have found myself back dating some entries – but, in the spirit of being realistic, it was like that with the old fashioned black book also.
Getting the look and feel just right takes work. I can’t tell you which version I am up to now, but I have tried several different themes, gadgets and layouts. (Bonus, it is a good way to learn all about sites! – which are blimmin easy to use!)
We are a GAFE school and using a Google site to collate and curate my planning documents makes perfect sense. Only returning to teaching less than 12 months ago I had the advantage of ‘green fields’ when it came to managing my resources. All in with Google, that’s me.
The ‘game plan’ is on any and every device that I am on. I don’t need to remember to carry my Teacher Planner home in the evenings.
Units of work, and lesson plans are ready for ‘another go round’ if course work is used again with future classes. And by the same token, alterations and additions are easily made when reflecting on the teaching and learning taking place.
For now my online plan book includes:
- My Google calendar, with a subscription to the official school fixtures and NCEA assessment dates (on home page)
- Links to school email, weekly staff diary, internal relief requirements, Google Classroom, my YouTube channel
- Course outlines
- links to unit plans, lesson plans and embedded slide presentations by class, term and week
- embedded mark book (using google sheets)
- link to Kamar
- link to class lists for quick printing
So, an online plan book using sites is still working for me, but there is still much to do! Not sure that I have hit the tipping point in terms of time saving, but suspect that will come very soon.