Hi, I’m Sylvia Skinner, a book lovin’, faith-led, Aussie Primary teacher, turned K-12 Art teacher, creator of the Go HERO course, founder of I Love To Teach 101, while helping teachers in need.
A digital planner undated enables teachers to complete all planning activities fast. As teachers, we have several vital tasks to complete. Among them is lesson planning, which is an absolute necessity.
The digital planner on an iPad mimics the traditional paper planner. You need a PDF reader such as Notability or GoodNotes, to write directly on your planner using an Apple Pencil, which I love. I hated the price at first, but that fades with the usability I get from the apple pencil.
Digital content takes up less space and is lightweight since you only carry the weight of the device. No matter how much you store, it always remains within the same volume.
You can easily carry your iPad in your handbag with it containing thousands upon thousands of lesson plans, teaching programmes and resources.
Best of all the GoodNotes pdf reader app syncs the digital planner undated on all devices and the desktop. You can edit on the iphone, ipad and desktop at anytime.
My number one reason for going digital is making small-group documentation as simple as ever. If you are a user of the ‘Daily Five’ or something similar for language rotations, you will likely be using a CC Pensieve or Conferring Notebook. It records small-group and one-on-one observations and conversations.
A teacher can use a digital planner undated in the same way, to observe and interact with students more efficiently, all the while noting their moves and entering any data on the planner.
In a parent conference or an IEP meeting, instead of wasting time searching through a binder, or a page, or line in a checklist, use the search facility in Good Notes. Start by keying in the students’ name and hey presto every note you made about that student comes up.
It doesn’t matter if each note is in a different section of the planner. Every kind of assessment comes up with the date and time of entry. These can be exported as one single report and printed or emailed.
If you get a digital planner undated you can make use of it year after year.
I’ve created an undated digital planner that has 30 different weekly lesson plan templates to provide for every teacher’s unique style of planning. Half have the days across the top and the other half have the days down the left hand side.
It also has 20 admin templates ie; meetings, checklists, behaviour tool, birthdays, term overviews, assessment, and so on.
You can, of course, opt for the plain non-descript planner provided by most schools but if you want something of beauty to look at its got to come from your pocket. Which I don’t mind as it’s something I use every day.
Besides, beautiful, well-made planners are usually costly, so teachers, tend to wait for the prices to drop. They feel so good, like getting a new book. I love the smell, the feel, the look.
Doing this for the first few years may not initially seem as costly, but if you calculate how much you have wasted every year on paper, you would realise that you could have minimised this loss by changing to digital. Plus a digital planner undated is re-useable.
Just for fun, I created eight pages of stickers to decorate my digital teacher planner. I use the lasso tool in GoodNotes and with my Apple Pencil draw around the sticker I want to use. Next, I hold my Apple Pencil over what I just circled until the ‘take screenshot’ menu appears, then I click the take screenshot button.
When the pop-up window appears, I tap the square (which is in the top right-hand corner) that has an arrow pointing upwards. Then I choose where I want to save the image. I choose to ‘save to files’. The image appears as a thumbnail in the top-right menu. I tap on it, and it pops up on the page of the planner I am working on.
I move the sticker to wherever I like and make it big or small to fit any area on the digital planner page. Then I can write on top of it or leave it as is. Plus I can duplicate it as many times as I like and so on.
Over the years, it may become harder to remember where every little detail on those notebooks, planners and programmes are. That is why it can take a dreadfully long time to re-locate the needed information.
However, a digital planner undated with the GoodNotes pdf reader app can utilise the search function that scans all your data and displays anything that may be related to it. So instead of a few hours, how about a few seconds?
Not only that but taking notes on an iPad is faster, especially if you are using an Apple Pencil and the right apps to go along with it. Plus, correcting mistakes is also less tiring since you do not have to throw away a piece of paper or blemish your notes with correction tape. I used to get through one white-out tape a week years back, just because I liked my planner to look nice! Lol.
One of the other negatives of using traditional planning is the massive clutter that comes with it. If you are similar to me, and you prefer to maintain your school bag and house clutter-free, resorting to paper is not the way to do it!
There are those immediate letters, papers, memos and messages of the week that haven’t been filed yet. Since I have moved to digital planning, these issues are gone. All my lessons, notes, messages, papers, forms, letters, staff meeting agendas get photographed and uploaded to my ‘Meetings’ page for that week. I might even add a handy note with my apple pencil.
Be professional and keep all your teaching notes, resources, assessments and lesson plans at your fingertips without feeling any extra weight. Reach anything you need at any moment.
Paper is arguably the least efficient way of jotting down information. Once you’ve printed a sheet, it can no longer allow for any further edits. Digital planning, on the other hand, offers a plethora of reasons as to why it is more efficient.
To illustrate, external sources, such as books, websites, YouTube videos, etc., can be hyperlinked to your notes, and you can even access these sources in class while using the digital planner via a whiteboard apple TV.
Furthermore, since each school has different policies on what a teacher is required to produce for lesson plans, the digital planner enables minimal fast editing to make your lesson plans comply for any school.
Now that you know the fundamental reasons perhaps you might like to make the switch to using digital planners. Visit the shop if you’d like to take a closer look at my Digital Planner undated for GoodNotes. Half our revenue helps teachers in need.
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