Planner is a project management app that is part of Office 365. That means it is integrated in other Office 365 like Outlook and Microsoft Teams.
Welcome to Day 71 of 365 Ideas for Office 365- Using Planner with students.
Last time we explored ways that staff can utilize Planner for projects that require collaboration and assigning tasks.
Students can use Planner in an entirely different way, as more of a to-do list with lots of extra features. To start using Planer with students first show them where to find it.
As with all Office 365 apps, they can start in OneDrive and click on the app launcher (waffle).
Most likely Planner will not show up in the initial list of the most commonly used apps, so they will need to click on “all apps” then scroll down to Planner in the alphabetical list.
Creating a New Plan
The simplest way to use Planner with students is to just have them create one Plan for all their assignments.
They will click on New plan, name it “Assignments”, or “Math Assignments”, etc.) and select Private.
Creating New Tasks in Planner with Students
Whether it is for a single class or all of their classes, each time they have a new assignment they will click on the plus sign, add the details by giving the assignment a name and selecting the due date. You might think there is no reason to assign the task since they are the only person in this plan, but if they assign it to themselves it will connect to their Outlook account. This means they will immediately get an email notifying them of the task, but more importantly, it will add the due date to their Outlook calendar.
Best practice tip: If an assignment does not have a due date, students should add a date for whenever they think they should work on it. Otherwise when they assign it to themselves it will appear on their Outlook calendar at the time they assigned it. (Which they can then move.)
Name, Add Due Date, Assign a Task
Organizing Your Plan
The next step in using Planner with students is having them decide what other columns (“buckets”) they want to set up. This can be something you standardize or you can give them some flexibility. Since this use case for using Planner with students does not involve group work, the list of buckets can be simpler, something like “New”, “Started”, “Finished” and maybe “Turned in”.
As they begin or finish assignments, they can simply drag a task from one column to the next.
Moving Tasks between Buckets
You may show students how to do this just for your class, but if they want to use Planner for all of their classes, it may be better for them to have one Plan instead of a separate Plan for each class. If they choose to use the Planner app on their iPhone or Android device, they can set up what they do or do not get notifications for, like new tasks or due dates coming up soon.
Next time we will consider using Planner with students collaboratively.
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