Hey everyone! As a teacher in today’s fast-paced world, I know how important it is to stay on top of technology trends. That’s why I’m excited to share with you the benefits of using digital teacher planners in your teaching practice!
You may ask – why do I need a digital planner? My paper planner works great.
Digital teacher planners are a game-changer for educators looking to streamline their lesson planning and administrative tasks. I’ve found that using a digital planner has helped me stay organized, save time, and focus on what matters most – my students.
In this guide, I’ll share everything you need to know about digital teacher planners, including their purpose, benefits, and features to look for when choosing the right one for you. I’ll also provide examples of some of the most popular digital teacher planners on the market and give you tips on how to use them effectively.
Whether you’re a new teacher looking to stay organized or a seasoned educator looking for a more efficient way to manage your workload, this guide has got you covered. So, let’s get started on exploring the exciting world of digital teacher planners!
Types of digital teacher planners
With so many digital products for teachers available, choosing the best digital planner, daily planner, or online lesson planner can be overwhelming. So when I choose a new planner, I narrow it down by deciding what type of digital planner I need before I look at the key features.
Tablet and mobile apps
A digital lesson planner app installs on a tablet or smartphone. I love the convenience of having my schedule and planner with me when I’m on the move. Likewise, teachers can easily access their lesson plans and class schedule on the go. Google Classroom, Schoology, and Seesaw are great digital teacher planner mobile apps.
I like online-based digital planners because they are available from my browser, which means I can access them from any device with an internet connection. In addition, online teacher lesson planners are cloud-based, which means the data is automatically saved and available from any device.
Online digital teacher planners are designed to help educators streamline their lesson planning and administrative tasks. Popular examples of online-based planners are Planbook, Planboard, and PlanbookEdu. Planbook and PlanbookEdu have a free digital planner teacher version. Planboard also has a free online lesson planner and grade book used by more than 5000,000 teachers. In addition, Planbook offers a 30-day free trial, which is ample time to decide if this is the digital lesson plan book you need.
Digital lesson planner software
My favorite would probably be a teacher planner digital planning software that gives me the option to work digitally and print pages. The OneStop Teacher Planner is an editable paid digital download and printable teacher binder, the perfect solution for a teacher who likes the combination of a paper planner and a digital planner.
OpenTeacher and MyStudyLife are examples of free apps and software with instant downloads. However, digital download free apps and software don’t always have the same features as the paid versions of trendy teacher planners.
Spreadsheet teacher planners
Spreadsheet-based planners are digital teacher planners created with Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. Teachers can use lesson templates for their weekly lesson plans or customize their grade sheets, schedules, and lesson plans. If you have specific preferences and want more control over the digital planner design and the layout of how you plan lessons, then using spreadsheets is a great organizational tool.
Key features to look for in digital planners
These essential features make a digital teacher planner a powerful tool for teachers. It helps teachers with their classroom planning to stay organized, manage multiple administrative tasks more efficiently, and coordinate school tasks like homework assignments, student commitments, and school meetings. In addition, digital apps and online planners allow teachers access anywhere at any time for successful classroom management.
Custom templates make digital planners flexible and versatile because the teacher can build and adapt the digital planner to their unique needs and teaching style. Look for a planner with customizable templates for lesson planning, gradebooks, scheduling, and the multiple administrative tasks teacher do every day.
A good digital planner will have scheduling tools that are easy to use but effective in scheduling your day and week, including class schedules, mark attendance, and time to create assignments and plan lessons. For me, a great scheduling tool must have a monthly calendar, a weekly planner, and settings allowing recurring events, customizable time slots, and the ability to add or remove events. It should also automatically update changes to weekly plans and link to relevant lessons, schedules, and events.
Task management tools improve your time management if you have various administrative tasks, which teachers have, and teaching responsibilities. Therefore, when I search for a great digital planner, I look for a digital planner with task management features like reminders, to-do lists, and prioritizing tasks.
Integration with other tools
Your digital planner must integrate with other tools that you use, like Google Classroom, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Microsoft Office, or the learning management system your school uses. It’s extremely frustrating to fill in all the information on your digital lesson planner to find out you have to redo everything because this specific digital teacher planner doesn’t transfer the data between your digital version and the entire school’s software applications.
Tablet and mobile accessibility
A digital teaching planner with a mobile app or responsive design allows easy access on all devices, smartphones, tablets, desktops, and laptops. Most of us are always on the go and use our tablets and smartphones to access our schedules, weekly plans, reminders, tasks, and to-do lists while waiting for something or someone or during our breaks.
Without this type of access to our digital planner, we waste precious time that could’ve been used more productively. For example, making additional notes about an upcoming lesson is easier on a note-taking app on your mobile phone than on paper that disappears inside your teacher’s bag. In addition, accessibility allows you to work on upcoming lessons at school and complete the lesson plan at home on your desktop.
Digital assessment tools
Digital planners teachers use should have assessment tools to track student progress and identify where a student needs improvement. The planner must offer student progress reports, rubrics, gradebooks, and the ability to track standards across the curriculum of the current school year to record student performance, competency, and mastery.
We often forget to check the ongoing customer support and training tutorials, videos, or webinars companies offer for their products. The digital planner can have everything you are looking for, from a teacher’s diary to the perfect classroom schedules, and you can choose from the most gorgeous designs, but if you don’t use the planner to its full potential, it’s not a good planner at all. So make sure that this digital teacher planner you want to use this current year and year after year has great customer support before purchasing it.
How do digital teaching planners integrate with other tools?
Digital planners integrate with other teaching tools in various ways that streamline workflows, help teachers manage administrative tasks better, easier classroom planning, and provide a seamless and integrated educational experience for your students.
Digital teaching planners integrating with Google Drive allow teachers to attach and share files with students and fellow teachers. This is particularly helpful for projects and assignments where students work collaboratively. It’s also convenient if the entire school is using Google Classroom.
Learning management systems (LMS)
Many digital planners integrate with a learning management system such as Google Classroom, Schoology, Moodle, Blackboard, and Canvas. These clever tools integrate with LMS to make it easier for teachers to manage and track student progress, assign homework assignments and projects, and grade students.
Calendar and scheduling tools
I like digital tools compatible with other calendars, like Google Calendar and Microsoft Outlook. Seeing my personal week plans and work daily schedule at a glance makes adding items to my calendar easier. It’s an effective tool to help manage your schedule and ensure you don’t miss any important deadlines or meetings. In addition, it’s easy to book extra class lessons or additional individual lessons for students you tutor.
Productivity and task management tools
Some teacher planner digital tools are compatible with productivity and task management tools like ClickUp, Asana, and Trello. This integration helps teachers even more to manage tasks, quickly plan lessons for all grades, and stay on top of their administrative duties.
Digital teacher planners vs. traditional planners for teachers
The variety of teacher planners is amazing, and one of the greatest benefits for teachers is the choice between traditional and digital teacher planners according to their preferences and needs. Each has its benefits and drawbacks.
Comparing the benefits of digital teacher planners and traditional planners
Accessibility vs. tangibility
Accessibility is a predominant benefit of digital planners to traditional planners; you’ll find it easy to access your lesson planners from any device with an internet connection. You don’t have to carry a cumbersome teacher binder with tons of forms and pages to access the content needed.
Traditional teacher planners offer a tangible, hands-on experience that some teachers prefer to digital options. The convenience of having my digital planner always accessible is important to me, but I’ve found I like the hands-on experience of traditional planners too.
Customization vs. limited customization
Customization features of digital planners for teachers are more intuitive than the limited customization features you’ll find in traditional planners. Custom templates allow teachers to personalize and tailor the planner much more to their liking than traditional planners; DIY teacher binders may offer a more customizable experience than store-bought planners.
In addition, digital planners also feature highlighting and planner stickers, like traditional planners. These digital stickers can be just as awesome as printed ones.
Collaboration and integration
The collaboration and integration features of digital timers surpass what traditional planners can offer. These features allow teachers to share tasks and assignments with students and fellow teachers easily. Traditional planners cannot integrate with other teaching tools, software, and resources, which makes managing tasks and assignments across various platforms effort and time-consuming.
Ease of use and learning curve
Learning to use your new digital planner at the beginning of the school year could take time and effort. However, it’s worth it to work through the learning curve. Traditional planners are more friendly because most have used a teacher’s diary and weekly lesson planner. You also don’t need internet connectivity or special training.
It’s easier to search for something with digital planners’ search tools. It saves time tracking student progress, shuffling through lots of forms, and connecting reports and assignments.
Cost and pricing options
Although traditional planners for teachers are generally more affordable than paid versions of digital planners, there are free versions available. Some digital teacher planners offer a basic version for free for people on a budget, but often with limited features and functionality. Freemium digital planners are the basic version and a great way to try the digital planner before paying a subscription for the more advanced features.
Many digital planners have subscriptions where users pay monthly or annual fees to access all the resources. Without a free version, subscription digital planners will offer a free trial period; you’ll be able to test it before buying. In addition, digital planners sometimes offer a one-time payment option where users pay a flat fee to purchase the software outright. This is great for teachers who don’t want to worry about ongoing subscriptions.
Another difference between paid and free versions are that customer support is often only available for subscription users. Digital teacher planning tools are generally more expensive than traditional planners, but based on their features, they offer excellent value for your money.
Do you use a digital teacher planner or prefer traditional planners to digital tools?