about 3 years ago
This week has been a big week for my career. I’ve achieved what my graduating cohort was constantly told was impossible. I’ve been hired for my first long term occasional teaching position with the Halton District School Board. After the initial shock and joy went away, I got into crunch mode as I had less than two days to start planning my month of teaching.
I remember lesson planning in teacher education. We had to complete long paper lesson plans that took considerable time to write. They had to be printed and added to my day book, only to never see the light of day again until my advisor visited. Lesson planning is an important thing that we do as educators, but I wondered if there was a better 21st century method to go about planning. This time around I could go about planning the way that I felt would best support my needs as an educator in an efficient way.
I came across Chalk while attending the Future of Education Technology Conference 2017 in Orlando last week. The Chalk suite is made up of different apps that interact with each other to improve productivity for teachers. I’m focusing on Planboard and Markboard. Planboard is an online lesson planning platform and Markboard is an online grade book that allows teachers to record a variety of balanced assessment data.
Planboard is a lesson planning platform. After entering your semester dates and your teaching schedule, it will create a virtual daybook that makes lesson planning easy. You can create lesson plan templates for specific subjects so that you can use a specific instructional layout. You can plan units by designing sequence of lessons for a specific subjects. You can plan lessons on a day by day view if you would prefer. If you have an administrator that would prefer you to have paper copies of your lesson plans you can print a daily plan for your daybook. This becomes very handy when creating supply plans.
The platform is linked to Google Drive so you can link resources needed for your lesson right into the plan itself. It is important for teachers to make sure their lessons are grounded in the curriculum and Planboard makes this super easy by allowing you to pick from curriculum expectations that your lessons covers. Being an Ontario teacher, I like being able to simply click the general and specific expectations that my lesson addresses. Planboard is ready for the unpredictability of teaching, and it is easy for educators to move their lessons to different days as unexpected events occur. To learn about Markboard visit Nigel’s blog here.
Nigel is a Master of Education student at Brock University in the Social and Cultural Contexts stream, specializing in educational technology. He is an Elementary Occasional Teacher, a blogger and an ihub intern. He’s passionate about productivity tools and EdTech and can be found on Twitter at @NigelCrosscombe.