Jeff sits down with Jeff Hellman from Hellmansoft to discuss their great app Planbook.
Planbook is a lesson planning application. It is designed to completely replace your paper plan book with an intuitive easy to use application that gives educators everything they need to keep organized and present their lesson plans to both their administrators and students flawlessly. Simply put, by using Planbook, I have been more productive as a teacher, and most important, I have felt much more organized as I prepare for each day.
Planbook is a versatile application that works both on Windows, the Mac and on the iPad. Planbook is simple enough to use that I was able to start using it and have all of my lesson information synced between my Mac and iPad in no time.
You begin by setting up your school year. You can then add your classes and tell Planbook how many days you teach each class. This is the perfect app for both K-12 teachers who teach every day, teachers on a rotation schedule, and college professors who teach every other day.
At that point, Planbook gives us a blank document for us to fill up. You can either type your plans directly into Planbook or copy them from a text file.
By default, Planbook sets up columns for our Daily Lesson and Homework. Using the three Custom tabs, I set these to “Materials Needed Before Class” (so I know what to bring with me) and “Technology Needed for Class” (so I know what I equipment I need setup).
The inspector is very simple to use as well. Planbook allows us to group our lessons into Units and add Metadata to each lesson, and each unit. We can adjust the start and end times for our classes. The inspector also allows us to keep track of any attachments we may need with our lessons such as handouts, or homework assignments. The Standards button comes in very handy when needing to keep track of our national and state standards.
Planbook Enables You To:
1. Enter lesson plans using a schedule that matches what you teach
2. Easily create assignments and attach your classroom documents to lessons
3. Create printed (or PDF) reports using the parameters you want
4. Track State, National and Local standards
5. Sync your lesson information, including handouts, to a free online planbook
6. Publish HTML files of your lessons to a MobileMe iDisk, FTP Server of local folder
Even though my school has a dedicated service where we are required to submit weekly lesson plans, I still use Planbook in my daily schedule. The integration between my Mac and iPad is simply fantastic and I couldn’t be happier. Included with your purchase of Planbook is an online service called PlanbookConnect. All you have to do is sign up for a free account and let Planbook do the rest. It will gather all of your information in your Planbook and post it to a simple, easy on the eye online version of the software where your students and their families can view a monthly calendar and have access to any files you wish to share. I used this feature with my classes, and linked PlanbookConnect to my website. My students enjoyed how easy it was to download my homework assignments and handouts. Because I linked all of my files on Planbook, I didn’t have to repost them anywhere else for my students. I simply connected everything to Planbook Connect and it uploaded all of the files for me.
Planbook was created by a Jeff Hellman, a teacher. Because of this the application is completely in tune with what we as teachers need. I have chosen to put the Planbook app on the front page of my iPad because I use it everyday when preparing for class. This app is one that I would recommend to any teacher.