Most schools in Helsingborg have started to use GAFE (Google Apps For Education) as a very powerful teaching and learning tool. At ISH we have been looking for better ways to collaborate with faculty and students. GAFE includes a very powerful tool called Google Calendar. The Calendar application comes with many opportunities and I will discuss three areas that we will most likely find very useful at ISH.
Creating a shared calendar for both teachers and students is something that can help to structure homework, deadlines, field trips, etc. A classroom calendar can look as follows:
To create a calendar you should do the following:
1. Next to "My Calendars" there is a small triangle pointing downwards. Click on it and select: "Create new Calendar"
Clicking on the triangle takes you to the calendar settings where you need to choose a few options:
Calendar name: Give your calendar a name that works for you.
Description: Describe your calendar
Share this calendar with others: If you want your calendar to be public to everybody, then choose "make this calendar public".
If you only wish your students to view this calendar then choose: "Share this calendar with everyone in the organisation Skol- och fritidsförvaltningen; Helsingborgs stad". Don´t forget to choose "See all event details" from the pull down menu, otherwise the students can only see that there is an event on the calendar, but nothing is written in it.
If you wish your calendar to be shared with editing and managing rights, then choose: "Share with specific people". Write down the usernames of the people you want to give access to your calendar. Enter their usernames which will end with @utb.helsingborg.se. and choose "Make changes and manages sharing".
Sharing a Calendar
Once you have created your calendar, you would want to share it with your colleagues, students or parents. This can be done in a couple of ways. People that you gave Editing right when you entered them under "Share with specific people" will automatically see the new calendar under "My Calendars" in their normal Google Calendar.
The easiest way to share calendars with students and parents is as follows:
1. Go to the Calendar Settings for the calendar you would like to share.
2. In the first column you see "Calendar Address". Click on html to see a pop up window with a website address to the calendar. You can abbreviate this link using a website such as "korta.nu".
3. When you click on the link as shown above, you will get to a site as shown below. If you don´t want to add this calendar to your calendars, then only use this link to be able to view the calendar in a web browser.
4. If you would like the students to add your calendar to theirs, they need to click on the link while being logged in with their @utb.helsingborg.se account (many students will make a mistake by clicking on the link using private gmail accounts). When students are logged in they can easily add this calendar to their own by clicking on the +Google Calendar button at the bottom right corner. They will be sent to their calendars and receive a request to add this calendar to their own. The shared calendar will from now on show up in their "Other Calendars".
Creating a "Schedule" Calendar
Some of our students have a harder time structure their days compared to others. The Shared Classroom Calendar can help these students a lot, structuring their work, but sometimes it requires something more. In these cases it can be very helpful to create a "Schedule" Calendar which sends out reminders to these students. Reminders will be sent every time the student loggs in to his or her Google Account in Chrome, but also on their cellphones or tablets if they added the calendars on these devices. (Which is probably a good thing to do). In the future these schedules will hopefully be generated automatically, but for the time being, we will have to do this manually.
1. Create a Calendar as described above. If the calendar is only made for specific students, then use the "Specific People" section to add their usernames (ending with @utb.helsingborg.se)
2. The difference between this calendar and the previous one, is that we want to add reminders before each lesson starts, in order for the students to get to class on time. We simply add each lesson as an event and add the following settings:
Name of event: This is the message that will pop up for the student. It is important this includes the most important information: Subject, Classroom, Teacher.
Repeat: To avoid entering these lessons week after week in the student's schedule, we can add the following settings:
Notifications: This is where you set the time for the pop up window to appear for the student to be notified in order to get to class on time. For theoretical subject 5 minutes should be enough, for PE 20 minutes.
These settings need to be added to each event, but will also automatically repeat every week.
Don´t forget to save!
After sharing the calendar as described above, you should be able to see a calendar as beautiful as the one shown here.
Book your meetings through the Calendar
E.g. Progress Talks, Development Talks, Booking iPads, Chromebooks
With Google Calendar it is easy for people to book meetings with you. The only requirement is that each user needs to be logged in to be able to book a time in your calendar. Parents should book a time using their child´s log in to book a time with you, this way the student´s name will be added to the specific event.
1. Mark the times that people can book, but change from "Event" to "Appointment slots" when the pop up window appears. In this pop up windows, you can specify how long each meeting is allowed to take.
2. You can also create multiple meetings, following each other, on different days and times which parents can get easy access to. Just mark the available times and change from event to Appointment slots.
The next step is to share these meetings with parents. Click on one of the meetings and choose "edit details".
In this menu you will be find the link to the Calendar´s Booking site. Send this link to your parents/ students/ or other people who you would like to book a meeting with.
When they click on the link, a website will show up which similar to the one below. The parents can click the time that suits them to meeting with you. The booked time will be not be available for other parents to book and will be added to the parent´s calendar as well as yours. If the parent chooses to cancel the meeting the slot will be reopened for other parents to choose and the meeting time will be erased from your calendar until another parent decided to meet you at that specific time.
Adding a Calendar to your iPhone/iPad/android
Adding a Google Calendar to your Android Device is the easiest. You go to Settings -> Account -> Click on Google and Add Account. Log in with @utb.helsingborg.se and choose everything you want to be synced.
To view shared calendars on your iPhone or iPad you have two alternatives. You can Add the App called Sunrise Calendar which is available for iPhone/ Ipad/ Android/ Chrome. Download it, log in with your Google Account and you are done.
If you would like to use your default iOS Calendar, you need to do this:
1. If you will use shared calendars you need to activate "iPhone Sharing" on your devices. Go to the internet using Chrome or Safari and log into your Google Account. Go to the following website:
Here you can see all your calendars. Choose the calendars you would like to be shown on your iDevice. If you skip this step, you will not be able to view any of the shared calendars.
2. Go to Settings on you iDevice. Go to Mail, Contacts, Calendar and choose "Add Account" Choose -> Google and add your account details.
3. Choose -> Google and add your account details as shown below.
4. You will get an error message. Just click "ok" and "next".
5. You will receive an additional error message, ignore it and press save.
6. The last step is to turn off your Google Mail to avoid future error messages. Don´t forget to "Save".
7. Now you are done adding your Google Account. Wait a moment while your iDevice is syncing the calendars. Open your Calendar App and click on Calendars at the bottom to see all your Google Calendars that are now connected to your device. Choose the calendars you want to show.