It’s no secret that I love anything to do with planners and planning tools. Throw me into a new school, and one of the first things I will do is check out the tools at their disposal, which brings me to the latest system I have had the opportunity to explore – ManageBac. As with most planning platforms available in the field of education these days, ManageBac also prides itself on assessment and reporting; the one difference between ManageBac and other planning platforms is that ManageBac specifically caters to the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme. After playing around with the site, I have to say that ManageBac, although it has some great features, fell short of my expectations of an ideal planning platform for several reasons, but let’s start with the pros:
Is ManageBac Right for Your School?
If your school is looking for a way to organize information for the sake of organizing information and meeting IB requirements, then yes, ManageBac could be a good solution. You will be able to easily submit necessary documents to IB and know that they are in the right format. Similar to most platforms out there, real-time collaboration, access to a gradebook, the ability to take attendance, student and parent portals, etc. are all included, which is great.
But is ManageBac the ideal planning solution? In my opinion, no, and where they fail is this idea of a ‘turnkey’ solution, because in education there is no such thing. There are individual schools with individual needs that require customized solutions. Where ManageBac also fails is in disregarding the fact that all teacher planners do not need to look alike, and it does not provide an adequate solution for transdisciplinary planning.
In short, if you are looking for a safe bet to get the job done, then ManageBac is for you. If your school is looking for an outside-the-box, innovative and customized planning platform that will allow for a cohesive and well-connected teaching culture to transpire at yours school, then my suggestion is to look elsewhere.