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Google Calendars are so much more than just a record of events and times. As educators their an opportunity for us to collaborate with other people in our building. They're also a way for us to make sure that the entire school knows what's happening and when. In this chapter, we're going to dive into understanding how we can use calendars as educators. To help us do thematic units, to make sure that we're on the same page about who has field trips planned and when. Let's go ahead and dive right into it. Here I've navigated to Calendars in my web browser by logging into my Google Apps for Education account and clicking on Calendars at the top.
If you've set up custom link URLs you can also navigate by going to calendar.yourdomain.com. On the left-hand side, I have a mini calendar that'll allow me to quickly navigate between various months of the year. If at any time I want to view that month, all I have to do is click somewhere in that month, and that month will automatically appear in the main calendar setting. Across the top, I can also choose to look at each day, a week at a time. A month at a time, four days at a time, or a list of events. Currently because I have no events in here, my agenda looks pretty blank. I'm going to go back to my month view, so we can go ahead and start setting up some collaborative calendars.
On the left-hand side under My Calendars, Google automatically creates two calendars for you. One is your personal calendar, which is probably titled with your name. And the other one is a task calendar, which ties into Gmail and the other applications. So for example, if I had an email and I saved it as a task, it would show up on the calendar here. When I add a new event to a calendar I have to choose which calendar it belongs to. So for example, if I come over here to November 4th, and I double-click to add an event. During that process, I'll have to choose which calendar the event goes on. I'm going to go and hit the Back button to go back at this point.
And while these two calendars are only viewable by myself and only I can add changes to them, I can create new calendars and with those new calendars I can share them across my building. I can give teachers either the access to just view the items in the calendar, or even to go into the calendar and add their own items. To do this, I'm going to use the drop-down button right next to My Calendars. From this, I'm going to go and click on Create New Calendar. Let's have a middle school team that wants to do thematic planning. I can go and create a calendar called, Middle School Planning. For description, I'm going to say, Laying Out Thematic Units.
And the location I'll put is My School. You can choose a time zone for it. I think the time zone for this particular calendar will be Pacific time. And here's the part that really makes this powerful, is that we're going to choose to share this calendar with others. Now, we have a couple ways of sharing it. The first option is to make this calendar public. This is a great idea if you've got parents and people outside of the building that you'd like to be able to access the school calendar. For example, if you have a calendar of back to school nights, you may want to make that visible to the public. However, there's some calendars and events that you don't want the public to see, such as field trips. You could also choose to make a calendar that's only visible inside your organization.
Even though I'm sharing this calendar, I'm going to unselect both of those options. What I'd like to do is to share this calendar specifically with just a few people. To do that, I'm going to come down to the Share with specific people section, and I'm going to go and start typing their names. Now, maybe Jeff and Jessica are on the middle school planning team with me, and the three of us would like access to this calendar so we can lay out a thematic unit. I'm just going to go ahead and start typing Jeff's name. You'll see automatically since Jeff is in the Orange Valley School network, that he pops up. I'll just hit the Tab key to add him. I'm also going to type Jessica's name. And once Jessica's name is highlighted, I'll go and hit the Tab key, and add Jessica as well.
Now that I've added additional people in this calendar, I need to choose how they can interact with it. On the right hand side, by default, they can just view the calendar. They can see all the events and the details of those events. Because this is a collaborative calendar, I would like them to have the ability to make changes and manage sharing. I'm going to select that for both Jeff and Jessica. That way just in case they have an intern they're working with, or if they have an outside organization they're working with, they have the ability to share this calendar with that person as well. Now that we've got the basic calendar information and the sharing set up, let's go and click on Create Calendar.
So now the left hand side, I have a third calendar that's added which is Middle School planning. If I come over to the calendar and click once and just start typing in an event such as Start of Science Week, I can now chose to add that to the Middle School planning calendar. When I click Create Event, this is now visible on Jeff's calendar, on Jessica's calender and both Jeff and Jessica can go in and make changes to this or add additional events. If for some reason I don't like the color that it's appearing as. If I hover on any individual calendar I can choose the Drop Down Menu next to it and choose to quickly change its color.
I'll go ahead and make the middle school team green. So now as I'm looking at my calendar I can quickly see my events as blue. Middle school planning is green and tasks is a light blue. Now while we've just created a very simple middle school planning calendar. There's a lot of uses for calendars. School wide calendars of events are great, a field trip calendar where teachers can add in what field trips they're taking and when, book sharing or computer sharing calendars. You can even use a calendar to have as a sign up log for various rooms in your building.
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