Planboard is a very simple app used to replace the traditional paper planbook used by elementary, middle, and high school teachers. It's accessibility online makes it easy to use from any location that has Internet access. It may be used to provide plans for substitute teachers as well as copying plans from year to year.
The app launched in February 2012. As it is quite new, there are no statistics regarding site usage other than that there are around 100 beta users on extended free trials. The app was founded by David Kim, William Zhou, Suraj Srinivas, Tony Cui, and Ryan McKay-Fleming and created by Vetica Interactive. They were inspired by the fact that their high school teachers were using various papers and lesson plan agenda books for planning. They wanted to find a way to make things easier for their teachers, substitute teachers, and make plans available from anywhere.
Plans for mobile apps for iPad, Blackberry Playbook, and smartphones are in the works.
Planboard is extremely simplified. The design even looks like a traditional planbook. The main competitor is the Google app, Free Gradebook and Lesson Plan Software by LearnBoost. The Google app is completely free and offers gradebook features, attendance, reports and analytics, sharing of data and plans, data export to the school system, and has an iPad interface. It is also available in 13 languages.
Planboard offers much less and is only free for 14 days. It may need to expand its offerings to compete with apps like Google's.
Once the initial registration is complete, users are directed to the Account Setup page. Name is again required, in addition to the title of the Planboard, school year start and end months, days that classes are held, and the number of periods in the class day. Users may enter promotional codes and referral sources at this time. Next, users choose the week in which to begin. The Planboard presents the first day of the week indicated, divided into periods. It also displays the date, a calendar, a post-it note for jotting down reminders, and print, PDF, and email options.
The app is extremely easy to use, and other than the obvious advantages of being available online, is essentially exactly like a teacher's planbook.
To enter a lesson plan, users may upload a file or use the very simplified text editor. Users may view plans by day, week, or month.
To view pricing, users may now view the remaining days in their trial period and are offered an upgrade button under Account.
Pricing is not initially presented. Users must sign up for the free 14 day trial (no credit card necessary) with full name, email address, and password.
Planboard is offered at a cost of $29.95 per year after the initial 14 day free trial. No monthly options are provided. Payment must be made via credit card.
Volume licensing for organizations or schools is offered. For 5-10 users, the cost is $26.95 annually; 11-20, $23.95 per year; 21-50, $21.95 per year; 50+ users must contact the company for a quote. Note that all prices are per user per year.
Based on the comparison to the Google App, this app is not recommended. Teachers will have more options, including mobile compatibility, with the free LearnBoost app. Until Planbook either offers services for free or increases the services offered, it is inferior to Google's app. Individual teachers can choose to use the free app rather than a school purchasing volume licensing to Planboard.