Unit Planning in the Digital Age

The last 4 weeks have been hectic, with the end of a term, two weeks of holidays and now the start of the final term for 2016. I haven’t had much chance or inclination to sit and write my thoughts down, in a publishable manner, or for that matter a manner that is more than a scribble on a post it. In the last few days, I have been working on my registration project, which thankful is almost done. I have also been finalizing my lesson plans for the remainder of this year. Once these two task are done, the next project on my plate is 2017 and documenting curriculum for it.

This year has gone quickly, and will be over in just over 9 weeks. Nine weeks sounds like a lot of time, but I have a feeling I will turn around and it will be gone sooner than imagined. I have no idea want I’ll be teaching next year, not even actually sure where I will be teaching. I’m happy where I am, but I’m not ongoing, so I have to keep chasing that enigma of teaching called “ongoing”. I am by no means unhappy with where I am, but I have to work to secure the stability for my family.

Circling back to my point, I am starting to document lessons and units of work for next year. It is the first time I have prepared documentation from an essentially blank slate. IT not that resources were not left for me, it is more that the new curriculum is so different from the current curriculum, most everything is new. I have based and run a few units of work off the new curriculum this year, but these only represent maybe 20% of what will be needed. The more I think about it, the larger the task seems.

I have a framework and the basics of a plan for next year, but I keep coming back to small details and how much do I need to document? I’m not sure of I should be writing detailed overviews accompanied by lesson by lesson plans, or a broad topical overview which leaves out some of the details for whom ever is teaching it to fill in. It is not keeping me up at night, but it has me thinking at the moment.

For, me, I typically operate digital only, with no hard copy if I can avoid it. I don’t really print anything besides my class timetable and that is only printed because I like to be able to look at my pin-board and see it. My preferred means of lesson planning is in Excel. It odd, but I like using tables and Excel is essentially one big table. My planning is formatted on a grid and Excel work s for me. The issue I am running into though is that, my peers like things printed. Anyone who has worked on large spread sheets knows, they are not meant to be printed; they are ideally suited for electronic perusal not paper distribution.  This has put me into minor logger heads with my teaching peers; they want hard copy and I find myself more and more working with documents that are not meant for the print medium.

I think this is an issue that is going to become more and more apparent in years to come, as students become more digitally savvy. Think about the average informative webpage. It often has imbedded media and graphics as well as a level of interactivity through hyperlinks. For digital documents, there is really no such thing “as single page” or “static” anymore.

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