First of all I trialled Google Calendar as advocated by Doug Belshaw in his blog. I liked the idea of the planning being available anywhere, even on my phone. Setting up repeating slots for my lessons was easy but then I found several other snags that made me give up on Google Calendar for now. I actually liked way you could integrate different calendars (eg public holidays). I could cope with not being able to customise the time-frame displayed on the calendar. But I found that entering the lesson details was fiddly and that there was no satisfactory way to view them. I would have liked them to be displayed on my calendar . I could even have coped if my emailed daily schedule information had included the description for each lesson that I had entered. I decided to give up on Google calendar for now.
Determined to try out electronic planning I searched the internet and found the TPIM (Teacher’s personal information planner) which appears to be the best implementation of lesson planning and personal time management I’ve seen in a commercial product. I downloaded the trial and found the interface very simple to use – with information readily at hand (this is a daily planning sheet).
Even with extra options such as an electronic register and markbook, electronic post-its and reminders I still found it more convenient to plan using my old paper teacher’s planner/diary!
Is there really nothing to beat planning on paper or am I just set in my ways? I’d be interested to hear how anyone else has used technology to help with their planning….