Online Planning

It’s the start of term 2 and I’m flat out planning. Every teacher knows this joy… sometimes. Planning, I’ve found, is the key to having a successful day in the classroom.

When you’re at teacher’s college it’s something that you come to resent because of the marking / assessment purpose – especially when you know that the chances of actually teaching what you plan is small. Now that I’ve got some time under my belt I’ve become a planning fan. There’s nothing better than stumbling on a resource or an idea that you are excited to use.

Here are two ways I’m using some online planning resources for this term. The first resource, mindmeister, is something I saw Nick Rate use and really liked. This mind mapping application lets you create an overview of the term. Each curriculum area has the activity or focus described and then, what I really like, you can create the links between them. You can see the links I’ve made with the inquiry topic of cultural diversity.

You can also add online links, download it as a pdf / jpg etc and also share the map with others online and have them add or edit the map. Brilliant. Here’s an embeded version you can interact with – students love making these and putting them into their efolios, too.

I’m also using this online planning resource found on the Ministry of Education website, TKI. It’s a social studies inquiry planner that walks you through the steps. I really liked the colour coding of conceptual understandings, thinking and reflective steps. It’s very visual (important to me), interactive, downloable and easily edited throughout the term.

I’m still a fan of pen and paper. I’ve become a hybrid planner you could say but these two sites show how we can use a digital format to create, edit, share and plan for the benefit of our students.

Image used under creative commons from MarkKelley, via


2 thoughts on “Online Planning

  1. Hi Mark

    Hey great to see your new blog template – I love the Southern touch ;+)

    I was wondering Mark if you could add a link to this post that would take us to your Mindmeister planning map. I struggled to be able to read the picture you took of it on this post as it was too small.

    Another question? Are you using an “Academic” Mindmeister account? I see we can only make 3 maps with the free account :+/ I am a bit of a Scruge McDuck and think that $18US is a bit steep.??

    Keep up the posting mate. I have you in my google reader and look forward to future posts :+)



  2. Thanks, Jamin. The mindmap does get bigger when you click on it but I can share the map with you. I'll also embed the map (don't know why I didn't before.

    I've had students create their own maps and embed in their blog as evidence of their planning / thinking / development over time.

    Using this on the cheap does have it's draw backs. Only getting three maps does limit you to downloading the map as a jpg or pdf to be create others once your three is maxed out. This is a good record (when your management does planning checks for example???) but you loose the interactive nature which is it's best use.

    I've also used Mindmeister before a meeting (about our school's ICT strategy, for example) and shared it with other staff a week or so before as editors. They can add, edit, what ever before we meet and you really hit the ground running when that happens.

    Great to have your encouragement, Jamin. I've been SO flat out adjusting to the new school down here that the personal blogging took a back seat. Same about your site, in my reader too.

    Great to connect up again!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s