Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Online Lesson Planning – OnCourse by Mike Siekkinen

Have you or your school district tried the online lesson planner from "OnCourse"? Our school shifted to using this several years ago and it’s fantastic. Prior to us using this program (which is not free), we had many different ways we saved and submitted lesson plans. In the past, we had to submit hard copies of the year’s lesson plans. This was costly and time consuming as well as cumbersome because they had to be boxed and archived.

We then shifted to electronic archiving using a Word format. This was again kind of a pain as it required teachers to keep track by month, lesson plans and then transfer files to specific locations on a server. With OnCourse Lesson Planner, everything is web based. No more keeping track. Lesson plans are done online and are customizable to whatever your system requirements are. With the changing educational environment, this is really helpful. The program requires very little training as most symbols, etc. are already familiar if you use Microsoft products. The program also allows you to share your plans with other teachers. We find this very useful for tracking and sharing ideas.

The program also archives all previous years’ plans so you can see what you did last year or the year before on those days. A very friendly, usable and time saving program for teachers and administrators. It is also nice that the program is customizable so as requirements change, or principals and administrators change, you can easily change formats to meet new requirements.

How do you deal with lesson plans at your school? Or with your homeschool students?

Dr. Mike Siekkinen, a retired U.S. Navy submariner, became a teacher as a second career. He teaches history at St Marys Middle School as well as Adult and Career Education at Valdosta State in Georgia.