Planboard: Letting Teachers Organize Their Days On the Web

Although I love writing for the AppStorm network, I do have another full time job as a teacher. One of the biggest things that I have learned over my 7 years as a teacher is to be organized and to always plan ahead. Not only do you want to plan ahead, but you want to plan with purpose. You need to have short term and long range goals for your students, and having a master plan is a great way to do this.

That is where a web app like Planboard can come in very handy. It is a great way to stay organized and help you as a teacher to plan for the week, month or for the year. It also gives you an easy way to share your plans with others. Let me show you what I am talking about.

Making Your Plans

There are a few ways that you can create your teaching plans using Planboard. First, there is the “Day” view, where you can plan out your day in detail by period. This is great for high school teachers who teach more than one subject and have to do different things for each period. There is also a sticky note on the right hand side where you can write things that you need to remember for that particular day. Plans can be made into a PDF, emailed, or printed out. This is a great option if you need to keep a hard copy or if you need to send your plan to a student who is sick for the day.

Day View

Day View

The next view is called the “Weekly” view. In this view you can see and create your plans for the whole week. You can also see your plans for each period as well for every day. I personally liked this view because I like seeing an overview of the week for all of my classes. You cannot export this view to PDF or email it, which was a little disappointing. In both views you are given an ample variety of text editing features to help spice up your lesson plans. I was disappointed that both views are limited to four periods. In the school that I teach we have six periods, so I couldn’t necessarily use this app as my full time planner. I would like to see in future releases options to choose the amount of periods you would like to have.

Week View

Week View

Lastly, you have the “Month” view, which actually is more like a year view because it shows you all of the months of the school year. You can click on a week and it will show you your lesson plans for that week. There is not much to this view and I personally don’t see the usefulness of it. One of the things I would like to see is an option to click on a specific day and only see the plans for that day, not for the whole week. I would also like to see the ability to specify the dates of the school year, as not all schools run from September to June.

Month View

Month View

Wanting More

After testing this web app out for a couple of days, it left me wanting more. I am always looking for ways that I can get my lesson plans online and yet make them easy enough to share out. I think Planboard has done the basics well, but there is so much more that they can add. I felt somewhat restricted by the app not having the ability to choose the amount of periods. I really felt this was a deal killer for me because it pretty much rendered the app useless at that point.

They could also add a few more things as well. The app should give more sharing options for teachers and, seeing as it is a web app, give teachers the option to get the HTML code so they can put it on their website. Maybe they could give teachers the ability to have their own personal URL, and charge a little extra for it. There are a lot of other ideas that I can see that would make this app better than what it currently is.

Speaking of charging, even though Planboard is not feature rich, they do charge for the application. You get the first 30 days free, but after that it is $30 a year to use the service. In my opinion this will definitely turn people off from using the service if they don’t start adding more features, but then again, $30/year is reasonably priced compared to most premium web apps that cost per month.

Pricing for Planboard

Pricing for Planboard

Conclusion

Even though there are many things that I don’t like about Planboard, I still think it has some potential. One thing that I did appreciate about it was the fact that the app was easy to setup and very easy to use. If Planboard is able to add features to make the app appeal to a wider audience of teachers, then they possibly have a shot at doing well.

Go and test it out and let us know what you think of the app. If you’re a teacher, we’d love to hear if you think you could put this app to use in your school and classes.


Summary

A web app that lets teachers write out their lesson plans

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