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Google Calendar is a lot more then just dates, times, and places put onto a visual format. It's actually a way for you to organize your life. It's a way for you to invite people to events and it's a way for you to collaborate with other students as you work on group projects. Let's go and discuss the best practices of using the Google Calendar inside of the school. Here in the main Google Calendar view, which I accessed by logging in to my Google account, and clicking on Calendar in the upper navigation. The first thing you notice is that it automatically brings me to a week long view. I could also choose to go to month view, day at a time view, four days at a time, and even the agenda view, which is going to list out for me all the items I have in a particular day.
On the left hand side, I have a mini calendar that will allow me to quickly move between months of the year. Directly below that I have my calendars. By default this is collapsed and if I choose to click on it, it'll automatically open up. By default you have a calendar that is your name in Google. Currently, this particular account is being set up as Student One and so that is the name of the calendar that is showing up. There is also a calendar called Tasks, and if you assign anything as a task instead of Google Sites, or instead of Gmail, it'll also appear on the Tasks calendar. Directly below that we have something called Other calendars.
These are known as subscription calendars, where I've chosen to use the Internet to bring various information onto my calendar. At any time if I don't want to view one of these. For example, if I don't want to see the US Holidays in my calendar. I can click on the calendar and it'll be automatically taken off. Now that calendar is still there, we're just hiding it from our view. Clicking on it again will allow that view to come back. To make new calendars we're going to use the drop down menu next to My calendars. Here we have the opportunity to create a new calendar. Now it's very tempting to just create a calendar called School that you'd put all of your school stuff on.
You'd build in all of your school classes, you'd build all your assignments into here; however, this isn't the best way to organize your particular schedule. For example let's say that you have a foreign language class, a math class, and a science class. And in the science class you get assigned a lab partner. Well maybe you want to create a calendar you can share with your lab partner. If I just create a general school calendar then I have to show my lab partner everything that's happening inside of my school day, I can't just share with them the things that are happening inside of science. So instead of creating just one calendar for all your school events I highly recommend creating a separate calendar for each class.
So for example I'll go and create a science calendar. I can add the description, let's say it's a life science class. The location would be the school. I'll make sure that I'm in the correct country as well as the correct time zone. I'm going to go and select Pacific time. If I'd like I can also make this calendar public with others. Now because my user is a part of a Google Apps for Education account, I also have the ability to share it with just my school, so that everyone can see the information I put in this calendar. What I'd like to do is to tell people when I'm available or not available. But maybe they don't need to know exactly where I'm at or exactly what I'm doing.
So instead I'm going to choose to make this calendar public, and I'm going to make sure it's set to see only free/ busy. Which means it's going to hide the details. So if I go in and I add let's say a class on Mondays from one to four into my science calendar. Then people will see that I'm busy between the hours one and four but they won't exactly know what I'm doing. If I'd like someone to know the exact details of that, I can always scroll down and add individual people. For example, if I have a lab partner that is Jeff, I can go ahead and add Jeff to this calendar.
And I can give Jeff the ability to see all event details. If we're working on a project and I want him to be able to go in and make changes, I can also change his status to Make Changes to Events. Once I have my sharing properly setup, at the top of the page, I'll go ahead and click on Create Calendar. So at this point we've gone ahead and created a single calendar for one of our classes. We are now able to build in our class schedule as well as all of the assignments for this particular calendar.
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