Tools for lesson planning

How can you use EdTech tools to support lesson planning? To find out, read through the guidance at your own pace, or jump to a specific section:
Evidence-based guidance

These tips will help you effectively choose and use EdTech tools to develop teaching knowledge and skills.

#1

Make sure the resources encourage effective pedagogic practices.

Collaborative lesson planning and the use of model lesson plans can give ideas and stimuli for lesson planning and can support teachers individually to prepare their lessons. But it’s important to use model lesson plans and classroom material that demonstrate effective teaching planning and practices. For example, lesson plans that include student interaction encourage teachers to use interactive activities.

#2

Make sure the resources align with national curricula where possible.

It’s important that resources fit within the system they’re being used in and support student progression and development according to the curriculum. Alignment with the scope, sequence, and pace of the curriculum is key.

#3

Make sure the resources provide subject-specific examples and pedagogies.

Teachers will be able to use the resources more effectively if they align with the subjects they are teaching and if the suggested instructional activities align with the subject content and skills being taught.

#4

Make sure the resources encourage collaboration and reflection among teachers.

Lesson planning resources should be used in a way that encourages collaboration and reflection among teachers, since evidence shows such practices improve teaching. The lesson planning resources can be used to stimulate discussion. This can encourage teachers to integrate the resources into their teaching and use them effectively to address any challenges they may be facing.

#5

Make sure the resources are relevant to teachers’ language, culture, and context.

Lesson plans will be most effective when they are contextualised to the needs of teachers. Invest in contextualising the classroom material so you can maximise its impact.

#6

Tailor the tools to teachers’ needs.

Teachers attending TPD will be teaching different subjects, different grades, and will have different needs and expectations when it comes to classroom material. Novice teachers may have less ideas about models of effective lesson planning, while experienced teachers may have a better grasp of preparing and using their own lesson plans, activities, and other classroom material. Here’s how you can tailor tools for lesson planning to meet the needs of your teachers.

Novice teachers
  • Use scripted lesson plans that can guide novice teachers on foundational instructional activities.
  • Use structured lesson planning resources that model effective teaching practices, and encourage teachers to develop their own effective classroom activities and plans.
  • Use lesson planning resources as a basis for discussion. Ask teachers to reflect on the resources and how they would adopt them in class.
  • Encourage teachers to discuss perceived challenges with using the resources, and to collectively brainstorm solutions.
  • Integrate lesson planning resources into TPD programmes to give teachers examples of what to use in their classrooms.
Experienced teachers
  • You can use unstructured resources that teachers can mix and match to make their own lesson plans.
  • Use lesson planning resources as a basis for discussion. Ask teachers how they would use the resources and how they would adapt them.
#7

Make sure the resources can be used at scale within the existing digital infrastructure.

For example, if teachers are in low-connectivity settings, it is important that they can use the tools for lesson planning offline.

❔ Who can use these tools and how?
TeachersTPD coordinatorsSchool leadersPolicymakers
  • Use resources to plan effective lessons and save time spent on lesson planning
  • Adapt the content to suit your context, and to share it with peers at TPD sessions so they can benefit from the adapted content
  • Share resources with teachers within TPD sessions
  • Use resources as artefacts to model effective teaching practices
  • Use material as stimuli for discussion, reflection, and planning
  • Encourage teachers to use new resources in their own teaching
  • Make sure teachers have time in their schedules to access the resources
  • Encourage them to use the resources in-class
  • Observe teachers’ classes to see how the resources are being used and support them to use them better
  • Make resources available to teachers, for example, on an e-library or in print
🔎 Curated tools for lesson planning
ToolDescriptionReview
KolibriKolibri is a platform with high-quality Open Educational Resources available in several languages. Kolibri has an in-built curriculum alignment tool and pre-organised and adaptable content libraries. The resources can be used offline in low-resource settings.

☑ Encourages effective pedagogic practices

☑ (Can) align with national curricula

☑ Subject-specific examples and pedagogies

☑ Encourages collaboration and reflection with other teachers

☑ Contextually-relevant

☑ Tailor to different teacher levels

☑ Suit limited digital infrastructures

Funda WandeFunda Wande is a platform for teachers to access teaching resources and lesson plans for teaching maths and reading. Materials are in text and video format. The materials are free and open-source, so they can be easily used and adapted to meet different needs. Each resource has both a learner activity book and a teacher guide.

☑ Encourage effective pedagogic practices

☑ (Can) align with national curricula

☑ Subject-specific examples and pedagogies

☑ Encourages collaboration and reflection with other teachers

☑ Contextually-relevant

☑ Tailor to different teacher levels

☑ Suit limited digital infrastructures

The National AcademyThe National Academy is a platform with Open Educational Resources across most subjects from pre-primary to grade 11. The content is in the form of video lessons, teacher guides, and powerpoint activities with lesson plans. Because they are open-source, the material can easily be adapted to meet teacher needs.

☑ Encourage effective pedagogic practices

☑ (Can) align with national curricula

☑ Subject-specific examples and pedagogies

☑ Encourages collaboration and reflection with other teachers

☑ Contextually-relevant

☑ Tailor to different teacher levels

☑ Suit limited digital infrastructures

EdraakEdraak is a platform with free teaching and learning materials in Arabic. Teachers can access a question bank and resources to help improve their practice.

☑ Encourage effective pedagogic practices

☑ (Can) align with national curricula

☑ Subject-specific examples and pedagogies

☑ Encourages collaboration and reflection with other teachers

☑ Contextually-relevant

☑ Tailor to different teacher levels

☑ Suit limited digital infrastructures

British Council EnglishBritish Council English is a free platform with lesson plans and teaching resources to facilitate English language instruction.

☑ Encourage effective pedagogic practices

☑ (Can) align with national curricula

☑ Subject-specific examples and pedagogies

☑ Encourages collaboration and reflection with other teachers

☑ Contextually-relevant

☑ Tailor to different teacher levels

☑ Suit limited digital infrastructures

OppiaOppia has a selection of open-source, quality assured foundational maths lessons as well as a variety of other lessons made by the community. Teachers can contribute their own lesson plans, or build on those contributed by others.

☑ Encourage effective pedagogic practices

☑ (Can) align with national curricula

☑ Subject-specific examples and pedagogies

☑ Encourages collaboration and reflection with other teachers

☑ Contextually-relevant.

☑ Tailor to different teacher levels

🚩 Suit limited digital infrastructures.

CK-12CK-12 offers free, curriculum-aligned lesson plans and resources across a variety of subjects includings Maths, Science, and English. They also offer customisable digital textbooks that can be adapted to suit teacher needs and contexts.

☑ Encourage effective pedagogic practices

☑ (Can) align with national curricula

☑ Subject-specific examples and pedagogies

☑ Encourages collaboration and reflection with other teachers

☑ Contextually-relevant

☑ Tailor to different teacher levels

☑ Suit limited digital infrastructures

OpenUp ResourcesOpenUp Resources offer free, open-source resources for Maths and English that are aligned to the US Common Core. The materials are high-quality and can be used offline. They also offer learning events for teachers to support them to use the resources. Some of the Maths resources have been translated into Spanish.

☑ Encourage effective pedagogic practices

☑ (Can) align with national curricula

☑ Subject-specific examples and pedagogies

☑ Encourages collaboration and reflection with other teachers

☑ Contextually-relevant

☑ Tailor to different teacher levels

☑ Suit limited digital infrastructures

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