Finally, a Planbook for the 21st Century Teacher (Update)
Let me say that as I write this, my wife is gleefully entering her first week into Planbook. Periodically, I hear an “oo” and am informed of another feature that simply makes sense for the modern teacher.
Planbook is a digital lesson book. Actually, it is a digital organizer for teachers. Jeff Hellman was frustrated with the limitations of a paper planbook, so he created a program that includes document and link integration, lets you publish to the web with customizable themes, and will print your plans in a traditional format.
I was using a blog as the information center for my English classes the last couple of years. It made managing my disorganized students a reasonable task. If they lost something, I told them to go to my blog and click on the link. If they missed a day, I sent them to the blog before arranging their makeup work. Planbook gives you the same opportunities but integrates it into your organizational system. That’s one less step each day in your routine.
When it comes time to share your plans, you can publish them or print them. You choose the information you want published and tell Planbook to send it to your website, iWeb, or a folder. The publishable plans can be accessed through a master list or a calendar. Links are sorted on a sidebar by date. Jeff provides guidelines for creating personal themes and has published several user-created themes on his site. If you need to give a copy of your plans to your administration or a sub, you can print a daily plan. Want to look at an overview of your week? Print a weekly plan (for us digital immigrants who sometimes need to scratch at something when we plan). You can even publish lists of attached files and links.
Here’s the cherry on top: Jeff is asking a reasonable price for the program. Individuals pay $30, but if you can get ten teachers together, the price drops to $10. For my faculty (140 teachers), the per teacher cost would be $2.14. That’s a pretty small investment for such a powerful organizational tool. It’s out for Mac now, and Jeff is
shooting for a Windows XP/Vista version this month.
Update: Jeff’s released the Windows Beta. See comments for details!