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Integrating the Moodle Calendar with iCal

From: Moodle 1.9 Essential Training for Students

Video: Integrating the Moodle Calendar with iCal

Now that you have Moodle keeping track of all the various different campus events, course events and your personal calendar events, it would be great if we could have all those events then appear inside of our local calendar on our computer. In this movie, we are going to step to the process of piping your Moodle calendar directly into iCal on a Mac. In the next movie, we'll show you how to go ahead and do the same thing by piping your calendar into Outlook on Windows. So, if you are using a Windows machine, go ahead and jump to the next movie, if you are using a Mac, go over to your Calendar block and click on the current month's calendar inside of Moodle. We can then see all the different events that we have got as we have been looking at before.

Integrating the Moodle Calendar with iCal

Now that you have Moodle keeping track of all the various different campus events, course events and your personal calendar events, it would be great if we could have all those events then appear inside of our local calendar on our computer. In this movie, we are going to step to the process of piping your Moodle calendar directly into iCal on a Mac. In the next movie, we'll show you how to go ahead and do the same thing by piping your calendar into Outlook on Windows. So, if you are using a Windows machine, go ahead and jump to the next movie, if you are using a Mac, go over to your Calendar block and click on the current month's calendar inside of Moodle. We can then see all the different events that we have got as we have been looking at before.

This time we'll go down to the bottom of the screen and click on the Export calendar button. Here, we can go ahead and setup the various different export options. We can choose whether or not we want to have all events on our calendar to be exported, meaning all the campus, personal and course events, or do we only want the events related to our courses. In this case, we want all events, so that we get everything coming into our iCal calendar. We can then set the time period that we want to have all of these events for. We can choose to have the Week, Month, the Next Month or the Recent and the next 60 days.

Let's go ahead and select the Recent and next 60 Days, so we can download a more complete version of our calendar. We then have two options, Get Calendar URL and Export. We'll go into both of these. Let's begin by clicking on the Export button and then select Save File from the pop-up menu. We'll click OK. The file will download. The file was called icalexport.ics. This is an open standard calendar format. Go ahead and close the Downloads window, and it'll minimize our web browser.

Next, go to the location on your hard drive, where your file has been downloaded to. In my case it's downloaded to my desktop. We can them simply double click the icalexport.ics file. iCal will open up on top and a window will pop-up on top allowing us to choose which calendar we want to link these calendar events to. We can choose to use one of the existing calendars that we already have or we can select the option for new calendar. I'm going to go ahead and select New Calendar and then click OK. My calendar imports. You can see it showing up here on the left-hand side and it's being colored red to contrast with the other calendars that are already on my system.

All the different events that were on my main calendar upon Moodle are now appearing inside of iCal. One thing to note though is that when we are up on Moodle, the different events such as our Coral Reef Lecture and Coral Reef Lab were showing up as course events. Where as the May Day Parade that's happening on May 1st at noon, would be showing up as a campus event. Here it's showing up just inside of our icalexport. If I scroll down in my window a little bit, we can see that the Study Session that we just created in a previous exercise is also showing up on this same calendar, even though that's a personal event.

While you lose the separation between the different types of events, when you do the import into iCal, what you do gain is the ability to overlay your academic calendar with your other calendars that you maybe managing. Let's go ahead and uncheck the box for icalexport. So that calendar's worth of information disappears off of our screen. Now let's go in and I'll show you how to subscribe to a calendar. To do this, let's go back into our web browser and this time click the button for Get calendar URL. A URL appears at the bottom of your screen, go ahead and select that URL and copy it with Command+C. Now that that URL is copied to our clipboard, go ahead and minimize your web browser and go back over to iCal. This time go up to the Calendar menu and select Subscribe.

A shield pulled down asking us for the calendar URL. Paste with Command+V, the URL that we copied off of Moodle and then click the Subscribe button. We can then give this calendar a name and we'll say Moodle Calendar. And you can give it a description as well as set the color that you want the calendar to appear in. I'll go ahead and leave mine set to Orange. The URL then appears in the Subscribed to, we can choose whether or not we want to remove Alarms, Attachment or To Do items. We'll go ahead and uncheck all of those, so that all of those appear. We can see the last time that this calendar was updated and whether or not we want the calendar to refresh and how quickly we want it to refresh.

I'll go ahead and set my calendar to Refresh Every day, then click the OK button. Now, any time new events are created on my calendar on Moodle and then I open iCal, iCal will automatically get updated everyday with all of the events that are added to my course. So if a faculty member puts a note in my course I can see that reflect into my local iCal calendar. If you use the calendar export then events are only updated every time you re-export your calendar and re-add it into iCal. This can be helpful to get a quick snapshot as to upcoming events. But it doesn't apply changes every time the way that the subscription version of the calendar does.

I'm going to go ahead and uncheck the icalexport because I want to just have subscription version of my calendar. Let's go ahead and return back to Moodle and then to go back to the main page on my site. I'm going to go ahead and click on the lyndaU link in the upper left.

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Moodle 1.9 Essential Training for Students

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