Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Automatically create lesson plans

Image: OpenClipart
One of the professional tasks I often don't spend enough time doing is writing good, well-formatted lesson plans. Don't get me wrong: I have carefully planned, well thought out lessons, and I take the time to reflect on their efficacy and how I can change them in the future. It's just the way I work.

However, I'm not as disciplined about writing nicely formatted lesson plans that include all the competencies from the Quebec Education Program, for students and for myself. It's not that I don't consider them - I just rarely get the time to copy and paste them into a formal written plan. I was much more disciplined when I was in teacher training than I am now.

As a method of procrastination (and also to explore the potential of Google Forms and some Apps Scripts), I created a lesson plan builder. In a few simple steps, it will create a nicely formatted lesson plan, includes all the relevant text from the QEP, names it according to the same rules for each plan, and puts it into one place.

One of my professional goals is to create and share, and encourage my students to do the same. I tout myself as a proponent of open-source (and anyone who reads this blog probably has already noticed that), and I want to put my money where my mouth is. I will use the tool to publish the lesson plans under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license in the hopes that other teachers will come across the plans, use them, change them, build on them, improve them, and share them again.

That's my long-range goal. I've still got to figure out exactly how I want to go about publishing these using Google Sites. In the meantime, the lesson plan builder will automatically email a copy of the formatted plan in PDF to the email address of the author. It's a temporary solution, and I hope it doesn't keep anyone from using it. All plans created will eventually be published to the world-at-large.

I've embedded the tool below. I hope you find it as useful as I do.