Saturday, April 24, 2010

Session 4: Google Calendar

I am certain no one will be shocked when I declare my unwaivering love for Google Calendar.  I believe I have been using this application for the last three or four years.  It is a combined printout of four calendars - Main, Library, Computer Lab and Mobile Lab - that I print and distribute to teachers each week.  Google Calendars is the subject of Session 4 of the Webtop for Educators course.

I wish I had access to Google Calendars when my daughters were young.  If I had used the Calendars email reminders or better yet text message reminders, I am sure I would have missed fewer doctors and orthodontist appointments.  I like the way Google Calendar can give me a visual agenda for my day, and I can reach this anywhere I can reach the Internet.  More than on a personal level, Google Calendar has done a lot for the way we allocate resources within our school.

I set up recurring appointments in the calendar just once per year.  For example, Mrs. Pisegna wanted her library time to be each Wednesday.  I only had to enter the appointment once in the Calendar and told the calendar to repeat this occurrence every Wednesday afternoon until the end of  May.  If for some reason a weekly visit needs to be changed, I can edit the time and date of an individual appointment while not disturbing the rest of the series.  If I need to change an appointment, I can send Mrs. Pisegna an email invitation to attend at a new time. By maintaining and distributing a Library calendar, I am able to communicate with teachers and the administration the flexible nature of the library media schedule.  It is easy to confidently change my schedule to accommodate research.

Using Google Calendar to schedule the computer lab and mobile lab schedules has done a  lot to improve the flexible use of each of these resources,  Prior to using the calendar, teachers had to guess whether or not a lab time was available and take their changes that their plans would not be disrupted.  With the schedule teacher can comfortably plan for lab use and can negotiate time changes with other teachers as necessary.

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