Waterloo-based edtech startup Planboard has reached an agreement with the Ontario Teachers’ Federation to provide its free, online tool that simplifies lesson planning, scheduling and collaboration for classroom teachers. The tool is called “OTF-Planboard”.
“Planboard brings lesson planning, scheduling and collaboration together onto one online space. Now teachers can find great lesson plans and include them into their classroom schedule all in one online place,” said Planboard’s Suraj Srinivas.
The tool brings together over 250 lesson plans created by Ontario Teachers into one main portal. Teachers can adjust and personalize their plans to respond to the needs and interests of their students. As well, Planboard said that Ontario teachers can save time while organizing lesson plans by doing all their planning online. The service will incorporate both OTF lesson plans and the Ontario Curriculum into class plans. Lesson plans and resources have been created through various OTF programs.
In a statement the Ontario Teachers’ Federation said “OTF-Planboard enables classroom teachers to plan for teaching and learning online so that they can concentrate on what matters most…face-to-face to interactions with students.”
Part of the UW Velocity program, Planboard is an education technology company that creates tools designed for today’s teachers and schools. Now used by over 22,000 teachers worldwide, the startup allows educators to collaborate and share their work through an intuitive web application that allows teachers to streamline the lesson planning process. This includes features such as calendar, schedule printing and lesson plan storage for re-use the following year. Lesson plans can easily be shared with substitute teachers and the fact that paper is being cut out of the planning process is positive in an environmental sense.
The company snagged a cheque for $25,000 from VeloCity in the Winter 2012 VeloCity Fund Finals, then called the VeloCity Venture Fund. Then VeloCity called the company.
Founder William Zhou had already founded his own company, Vetica Interactive Inc., at 19. That helped inspire Planboard, with the help of early team members Suraj Srinivas, Tony Cui, Ryan McKay-Fleming, and David Kim.
He was able to use this platform to come up with a way to improve his teachers’ lives. Over the past 6 months, Suraj Srinivas, Tony Cui, Ryan McKay-Fleming, and David Kim worked with William to solve the problem of inefficient lesson planning.
The Ontario Teachers’ Federation is the advocate for the teaching profession in Ontario and for its 160,000 teachers. OTF members are full-time, part-time and occasional teachers in all publicly-funded schools in the province – elementary, secondary, public, Catholic and francophone.