Tag Archives: google calendar

G-Suite Learning Center is Better than Ever!

I am regularly helping people become more acclimated with Google tools. Recently, I went back over to the G-Suite Learning Center and was amazed at its complete overhaul, robust features, and ease of access and use. The new learning center focuses not only on teaching users about its tools, but helping them to migrate from common platforms such as Exchange. Information is organized in a variety of ways: tool, tips and tricks, switching from Microsoft, and (my favorite) use at work.

g suite work

If you’re responsible for training people on G-Suite, this is a great resource for you. For example, if you want to do a training on GMail, select the “GMail” option under “Learn by Product.” You will find a variety of useful instructions, including the “Cheat Sheet” which includes instructions for performing basic functions in GMail.

Perhaps the best feature of these resources is that it updates when Google Updates. No more scrambling to create new training resources after the release of a new feature or, worse yet, an updated look! Everything you need is in G-Suite Training.

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5 tips to help school administrators make the most of Google Calendar

The is reblogged from my post on Daily Genius

new-google-calendar-810x456

One of my favorite Google Apps resources is Google Calendar. If your school has enrolled in Google Apps for Education, it is part of your GAFE suite of tools. With a Google Calendar, you can more effectively organize and plan your administrative tasks. Here are some quick tips to help you to effectively wield your Google Calendar tools.

Use a Shared Calendar

With Shared Calendars, multiple people can view and even edit the same calendar. It’s easy to manage a shared calendar with your Administrative Team, Clubs, Faculty, or even parents using Google Calendar.

create shared google calendarYou can give members the ability to subscribe to the calendar to view updates or even grant them the ability to edit it. To do this, simply open up your Google Calendar and scroll down to “My Calendars,” press the down arrow and select “Create new calendar.” Give the Calendar a Title and include a brief description. Next, check the box “share this calendar with others” and select your sharing settings. Do you want it to be a public calendar that others can only view, share it out publicly only with people in your organization, or do you want to invite specific people who can then add items to the calendar?

Google Calendar Sharing Settings

Google Calendar allows you to be flexible here with multiple levels of access and sharing; for example, you can allow some people to view and others to edit. As the creator of the calendar, you can always change or revoke another person’s access to it. This is a great way to keep a group organized. By keeping a shared calendar with faculty, you can schedule tests and major assignments to make sure students don’t get overwhelmed. If you have resources, like computer labs or iPad carts, you can allow faculty to “reserve resources” on a campus calendar.

Set up Appointment Slots

Google Calendar also allows you to set up appointment slots without sharing your whole calendar with others. This is a great way to hold open office hours or allow people to book time with you; it will also let your faculty, students, other administrators, and parents know your availability without publishing your entire calendar. Note that you can only use this feature with a Google Apps for Education (GAFE) or a Business account; it will not work on a personal account.

When you open your calendar, switch to Week or Day view. Click on your Calendar anywhere and select “Appointment Slots” from the pop up bubble. From the drop down menu, select the Calendar you want to use. I recommend using the calendar you use for professional appointments – rather than a shared calendar – so that you don’t inadvertently schedule a conflicting event. Remember, sharing appointment slots will not reveal your whole Calendar only the time slots you designate available for appointments. Give your Appointment Slots a name, such as “Ms. Carey’s Office Hours,” and set the times for your appointments. When you have finished, copy the appointment page URL and click save. When you share the URL with others, they will be able to schedule appointments with you. If you would like a step-by-step tutorial, check out this great video by The Gooru

Sync your Calendar Across Devices

If you’re like me, you’re always on the run; going to a meeting, a class, or just trying to grab a bite of lunch. My Smartphone is my organizer on the go because it’s readily accessible and I can see my schedule at the touch of a finger. One of the great things about Google Calendar is that it resides in the cloud, so you can sync it wirelessly across devices without thinking about it! If someone emails you a calendar invite and you accept it on your desktop, it will populate your calendar on your laptop, smartphone, and/or tablet. Likewise, if you are stopped in the hallway and someone asks for a meeting, you can schedule it on your Smartphone and it will then appear on your calendar across all of your devices. Here are the instructions for setting up Google Calendar syncing with your with Android & iOS devices. If you need a little extra push to keep you going, you can even have Google Calendar send you a reminder with a text message directly to your cell phone (price subject to your texting plan).

Schedule a GHO Video Call

GHO Link in CalendarsVideo conference calls are becoming more popular as they allow you to engage beyond a disembodied voice. Google Calendar allows you to not only schedule a video conference call, but to include a link within the calendar appointment that users simply click to join. This is much faster than logging into Google Hangouts or Skype and inviting people manually. With aGoogle Hangout, you can have up to 10 people in the same call; so you can easily navigate remote meetings, interviews with multiple participants, and more.

Add Attachments to Calendar Events

Often, our calendar events include meetings to review different documentation, such as policies and procedures, or to discuss a specific agenda. To keep everything organized, you can attach a document to your event. This is a feature that requires you to enable “Labs” in Google Calendar.

goole labsNOTE: Labs are features that have not yet been broadly rolled out and are still in beta. It is important to know that sometimes Labs features are buggy. If you experience problems, simply disable Labs. To enable the “Event Attachments” Lab click on the the gear in the top right corner, then select Labs, scroll down and enable “Event Attachments.”

Now when you create a new event you will have the option “add attachment” available. When participants log on to the calendar, they will see the attachment and have the ability to download it.

There are a lot of great ways that Calendar can make your administrative duties more organized and streamlined. Explore other tips and tricks as well as more Lab options.

Learn more about Google Apps this Summer!

Google-Workshops

  • Google & Chromebooks
  • Google & Web Tools in the Student-Centered Classroom
  • The Chromebook Classroom
  • Google Apps & iPads
  • And More!

View the Full Course Catalog at ettsummer.org

5 Ways School Administrators Can Use Google Apps

This is reblogged from my post on Daily Genius.

Google-Apps-1000x600

One of the most powerful ways that administrators can encourage their faculty to adopt new technologies in their classroom and curriculum is by modeling effective application of new digital tools. With Google Apps for Education, there are many tools that are helpful for administrative tasks, providing a number of ways to effectively model technology usage on a daily basis.

CREATE A SHARED GOOGLE DOC FOR FACULTY MEETINGS

Use Google Docs to create and share meeting agendas. Not only will it prep your faculty for meetings, but they can use the document to keep shared, electronic notes; this is especially useful if you have a designated individual to keep minutes. You can include live links for content, embed materials, create & share calendar events, etc. These are not possible in a static, paper document and not only demonstrate your commitment to adopting new technologies, but also help spark the imaginations of your teachers in applying these new tools in their own classrooms.

USE A GOOGLE FORM FOR CLASSROOM OBSERVATIONS

If you visit and observe classes, then turn your classroom observation forms into Google Forms. Having an electronic form will save you time and space. If you have a tablet or smartphone, you can complete the form easily on a portable device. Also, by using a Google Form, you can quickly email the contents to faculty, department chairs, and HR. Here is an example form for observation.

USE GOOGLE FORMS FOR SIGN-UPS

If you need chaperones for a school dance or field trip, lunch duty, or detention, Google Forms is a simple way to have faculty and staff respond. You can easily share a form via email or post it on your school’s website. With the new Google Forms Add-Ons, you can limit responses by automatically turning off the form when you reach maximum participation, set up notifications when faculty respond, and export it to a shareable Google Doc when you need to share information (such as chaperone contact information or time slot sign-ups for an event).

USE GOOGLE CALENDAR’S “APPOINTMENTS SLOTS” FOR MEETINGS

One of my favorite features in Google Calendar is setting up “Appointment Slots.” Keeping an “open door” can be tricky; it’s difficult to get your work done when you are regularly interrupted. Posting your calendar can also be problematic as even if you have nothing scheduled, you may want that time reserved for administrative work, phone calls, or lunch! With appointment slots, you can designate certain times you are available for meetings. This is a great way to have your faculty sign up for face-to-face time with you as well as keep you organized.

If you would like a step-by-step tutorial, check out this great video by The Gooru.

 

COLLECT IMAGES & VIDEOS VIA A SHARED FOLDER

Schools often struggle collecting images of field trips, school plays, and other activities. If you would like to facilitate this process, then share a folder with the community that they can use to upload videos and photos. When you designate a shared folder, be sure to explore the various options available to you and apply them appropriately. You may want to share the folder only with the certain teachers and students, the whole school, or the broader community like parents and alumni. The flexible sharing options make it easy to individualize. What makes Google Folders such a great way to collect materials is the fact that most people use their phone as their camera. With the free Google Drive App for Android or iOS, they can upload directly from their device.

Google Apps is a flexible and robust tool that can facilitate not only teaching, but also administrative duties. Additionally, by modeling effective use of technology with your own administrative tasks for your faculty, you familiarize them with available tools and encourage them to apply them in their own classrooms.

For an opportunity to learn more about using Google Apps for Education, join EdTechTeacher and Google for the firstEdTechTeacher Google Jamboree. Registration is FREE! The deadline to apply is January 7th.

5 Tips to get Organized with Google Calendars

This is reblogged from my post on Edudemic.

One of my favorite Google Apps resources is Google Calendar. If your school has enrolled inGoogle Apps for Education, it is part of the GAFE suite of tools. With a Google Calendar, you can more effectively organize and plan your class. Here are five quick tips to help you create an enhanced classroom Calendar to make your school year run smoothly.

Embed Calendar on Google Sites

Consider embedding your Google Calendar directly into your website as an an easy way to publish homework, communicate deadlines, and keep students and parents up to date about your class. If you use Google Sites for your class home page, then you can easily embed a calendar by going to Insert → Calendar. However, even without a Google Site, you can use an embed code to post it. By clicking on “Calendar Details” (visible when you click the down arrow next to your calendar), you can scroll down, copy the “embed code,” and then paste it directly onto your website. Google Calendar will even let you personalize your calendar by customizing the color and shape.

google calendar

Have Students Subscribe to the Calendar

Instead of having students visit the calendar regularly, have them subscribe to it. A subscription will connect them directly to your calendar. This way, they will have the most recent and up to date information. They can even sync that calendar to their computer, tablet, or smartphone so that they have the information at their fingertips. There are two ways to subscribe to a Google Calendar. First, when viewing the calendar itself, students can click on the “+Calendar” icon at the bottom right. They will then be redirected to their own Google Calendar and prompted to add it to their own.

google calendar

However, if the student prefers to use another Calendar Reader (such as iCal or Outlook), then you can share with them the Calendar address by going to “Calendar Details” and then scrolling down to “Calendar Address.” Students can then import the Calendar to their viewer of choice.

Add Attachments to Events

google calendarIf you like to use Google Calendar for assignments, then know that you can also attach documents – creating a great workflow solution for your students. This is a feature that requires you to enable “Labs” in Google Calendar. Labs are features that have not yet been broadly rolled out and are still in beta. It is important to know that sometimes Labs features are buggy. If you experience problems, simply disable Labs. To enable the “Event Attachments” Lab click on the the gear in the top right corner, then select Labs; scroll down and enable “Event Attachments.” Now when you create a new event you will have the option “add attachment” available. When your students view the calendar details to see their assignment, they can also access the content that you post.

google calendar

Schedule a Video Call

If you are scheduling an appointment with someone who also has a Google Account, then you can automatically set up a video call! By creating an event and inviting a guest, they will have the option to join your video call by clicking on the icon within the appointment. This is far easier and faster than setting up a Google Hangout or Skype Call.

Set up Appointment Slots

Google Calendar allows you to set up appointment slots without sharing your whole calendar with students. This is a great way to organize student or parent conferences without a signup sheet or emailing back and forth. Note that you can only use this feature with a Google Apps for Education(GAFE) or Business account; it will not work on a personal account.

When you open your calendar, switch to Week or Day view. Click on your Calendar anywhere and select “Appointment Slops” from the pop up bubble. From the drop down menu select the Calendar you want to use. I recommend using your professional calendar so that you don’t schedule a conflicting event. Remember, sharing appointment slots will not reveal your whole Calendar, only the time slots available for appointments. Give your Appointment Slots a name, such as “Ms. Carey’s Office Hours,” and set the times for your appointments. When you have finished, copy the appointment page URL and click save. When you share the URL with your students they will be able to schedule appointments with you. If you would like a step-by-step tutorial, check out this great video by Google Gooru

Google Calendar is a highly versatile tool within the Google suite of apps. With these tips you can streamline and organize your class and professional time, keep students on track, and navigate your schedule easily.

To learn more about using Google Calendars and other Google tools in the classroom, EdTechTeacher will be hosting a FREE, LIVE Back-to-School with Google webinar on September 18th at 8:0pm EST. Registration is open.

5 Great Tech Tools to Prep for the School Year

It’s the end of July and the school year is just around the corner (T-minus 19 days for me). Here are some great apps to help you organize in preparation of the school year.

 

Courtesy of Pixabay

Courtesy of Pixabay

Evernote (Free & Paid) – A great tool to organize your lessons, resources, notes, to do lists, and more. Evernote is a highly versatile tool for organizing your life.

Google Calendar (Free) – If you have a Google Account, you can easily create a Google Calendar. With calendar you can organize your personal and professional life, create shared calendars for collaborative projects, and keep specialized calendars for your classes.

Socrative (Free) – Build great bell ringer activities and exit tickets with this student response system. With the release of Socrative 2 has come a series of robust upgrades including Google Drive integration, Common Core tagging, individual student reports, and so much more.

ShopSavvy (Free) –  A barcode and QR code scanner, ShopSavvy allows you to scan the barcode of an item in store and will return price checks of stores in the area as well as online deals. This is a great way to hunt down back to school deals!

Genius Scan (Free & Paid) – This is my favorite camera scanner app. If you are looking to digitize your handouts or reading lists, this tool will allow you to create digital documents (PDF, JPEG, etc) using only your camera and then transfer documents via email, DropBox, Google Drive, Evernote, and more.

There are a lot more tools out there that can help you organize and prep for the school year. However, don’t forget the most vital element in gearing up for Fall – rest up and recharge!

Teaching Students to Use Technology to stay Organized & Study – a Case Study

This past weekend my school, Trinity Valley, gave me the opportunity to teach a one day Saturday enrichment course for students that focused on using technology to help them stay organized, manage their materials, and take their work on the go. The course was entirely voluntary and students could attend portions of the day. I organized it into three sections:

9-11 Organization

11-1 Study Skills & Tools

1-3 Mobile Tools, taking it on the go!

I was pleasantly surprised about the interest. I had 19 students sign up for the class and ultimately 16 attended. Additionally, there was a sports conflict. I had numerous students message me asking for a second offering as they could not attend. Interest was high (especially as there was no extra credit or mandatory attendance).

I built a Google Site (that you can see here) for the course, telling students the programs that I would be using and requesting that they sign up for accounts and download applications in advance.

Many of the programs had some overlap for organization and study. Largely, I wanted students to get familiar with a variety of powerful tools and then choose one or two that they could then focus on and, hopefully, implement in their own studies and daily life.

Applications I Highlighted

install_graphic-vflx6Z89XDropBox –  It is an excellent cloud storage program that you can use to sync content across devices and platforms. If you would like more information on DropBox, see:

Evernote – Evernote is a program that will allow you to ‘remember everything,’ – you can input notes by hand, pictures, voice notes, to do lists, clips from websites, and more. Evernote syncs logoacross platforms and devices. For more information on Evernote, see:

imagesGoogle Calendar – A free calendar resources that allows you to sync across platforms, collaborative calendar, set reminders (that will even pop up on your cell phones), and more. For help on how to get started on Google Calendar, see:

unnamedGoogle Drive – Incorporating Google Docs as well as 5GB of free Cloud storage, create and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets, and more. To learn more about using Google Drive, see:

MindMeister – MindMeister is a collaborative, online mind mapping tool that has recently been merged with Google Drive! It is one of my favorite classroom tools. To learn more about MindMeister, see:

In addition to these specific tools, I discussed other mobile options for students to use on their Smart Phones or Tablets such as Electronic Student Planners and Smart Phone Document Scanners as well as Flash Card makers. All of these tools can help to further empower your Smart Phone as a truly comprehensive and malleable computing device.

The Scavenger Hunt

To help students learn about each of these programs, I devised an interactive scavenger hunt. The winner of which would get a prize (iTunes card, Evernote Premium Subscription, etc). If you are interested in looking at those further, I will post them below.

DropBox Scavenger Hunt

Evernote Scavenger Hunt

Calendar Scavenger Hunt

Google Drive Scavenger Hunt

MindMeister Scavenger Hunt

What I Will Change Going Forward (aka – What Did I Learn?)

The first thing that I learned is that six straight hours of work shop teaching is way too much! I think that if I offer the course again, I will limit it to four hours. The mobile element can really be incorporated into the rest of the lessons and doesn’t need its own unit.

Also, it is important to remember that software doesn’t operate in the same way on all of the same platforms. Some of the instructions I gave were not applicable on an iPad or accessible at all on a Microsoft Surface. While it likely is not feasible to be able to prepare a separate lesson for each device, it’s important to realize that a student will not be able to use all of the features on every device.

All in all, I think that the program was a success and I would love to offer it again applying what I learned the first time around.