Back in 2001, when I started as a teacher, the technology boom was in its nascent stage. I remember toting a large bag filled with papers home most nights and going to sleep drowning under a vast sea of student homework that needed grading. My classroom was even worse, cluttered with books, manipulatives, globes, maps, and learning stations that left little room for anything else. However, as I write this in 2018, things have changed dramatically. Today’s teachers have edtech in their corners.
Digital teaching and learning tools have streamlined education processes and provide learning experiences that stretch far beyond the materials that were available for me back in 2001. Teachers today will never know the hard work that it takes to develop a lesson plan from scratch, painstakingly developing anticipatory sets, learning experiences, formative and summative assessments, and aligning everything to relevant curriculum standards. Now, there are tens of thousands of tools that will do the heavy lifting for them. With a few clicks of the mouse, they have completed lesson plan in front of them, aligned to the necessary curriculum standards. If I were still in the classroom today, I’d use these lesson planning apps, tools and resources:
BetterLesson: This edtech company compiles thousands of lesson plans and resources into one convenient location. Each of the plans has been crafted by a teacher so you can be certain that they will work in your classroom. BetterLesson offers plans for math, ELA, science, and blended learning.
OnCourse Lesson Planner – This platform can be used to handle all the administrative processes of a school. The OnCourse Lesson Planner utilizes different features to reduce pressure on the teacher and to track student and staff performance.
SCASY – This system can be used to create a unique learning schedule and structure lesson plans to suit the needs of the school and each student. SCASY connects students and fosters relationships between parents and school administrators. It also has the features needed to support various school activities.
Common Curriculum: Common Curriculum aligns very closely with Common Core standards. It allows you to rearrange lessons, drag and drop items, and reschedule them for later dates. One of the unique benefits of Common Curriculum is that it allows you to collaborate on documents together. You can see and track changes that other teachers in your department are making in real-time.
LearnZillion: Edtech companies like LearnZillion are taking online lesson planning to a new level. The lessons here include teacher and student materials, teaching guides, and even assessments to go along with the curriculum. Educators can use LearnZillion’s instructional videos, easy assignment options, and more.
Did we miss any?