Fellow blogger Andrew Marcinek blogged this past April about replacing student planners with iGoogle pages. I think the idea is a great one and teaches students the skill of training information to come to them rather than running all over the web hunting down information.
The addition of a new feature within the iGoogle pages makes Andrew's idea even easier-- sharing tabs. Teachers can create an iGoogle "student planner template" which they can share with an entire class simply by entering their e-mail addresses. Students can then use the iGoogle page as it is or personalize it. Schools that have implemented Google Apps will find this feature especially useful as it integrates seamlessly with Google Docs and Calendar.
Here's how to do it
Anyone who has looked through the available gadgets for iGoogle pages has most likely noticed that not all are appropriate for students. Fortunately, you don't have to eliminate the tool because of this. If you are a Google Apps school, you can turn on a gadget "white-list" that will restrict the gadgets that students are able to see. Full details can be found here.
Has your class or school adopted iGoogle "virtual planners?" I'd love to hear your experiences and how this is working for you and your students!