Getting Organized: Shared Assessment Calendars

Well done MS Tutors! All tutor groups now have their own assessment calendar on Google Calendars, and they’ve been shared with all of the appropriate teachers.

Our goals for the calendars are:

  1. A quick overview of what major assignments students have at a glance.
  2. Collaboration between teachers when assigning major tasks. (Here’s how to add an event to a shared calendar)
  3. A tool that will allow students to take ownership of an organizational strategy (ie: reminders) – starting with subscribing to the teacher created calendars. (Here’s how to embed the calendar into your blog)
  4. A way for both students and parents to automate homework reminders through their mobile devices.
  5. A simple, but foundational tool for students to explore, so that they can grow into a tool that suits them best.

So, now that we have the actual calendars set up, the next step is to teach students (and parents) how to subscribe in their own Google Calendar (or iCal or whatever tool they use) so that they have all of their assignments in one place, plus all the automated reminders that comes with it (Student Tech Team is making a video now).

In addition to subscribing to the assessment calendars, students can also add their own assignments and reminders to their Google Calendar to have everything in one place – just like an adult would use a calendar. The parents in our Parent Tech Coffee morning have already seen how this can work.

Thanks for working together to make this happen! It will be great to see how students can build their own organizational skills using effective strategies thanks to this great foundation.

Switching to Google Apps

We did it! Thanks all of Genki’s hard work, we have now successfully switched to GMail!

Here’s the good news:

And answers to a few frequently asked questions (FAQs) from Stephen:

Will my email start going in to Google immediately?
Some but not all emails will continue to be received in your First Class inbox for a few days.

Do I need to check my First Class account for emails?
If you have already been using Google for email – no. If you have only been using First Class – yes. There will be a few things for us to learn in Google such as how to find the shared files you access on First Class through the teachers lounge.

How do I change my password in Google Apps?
Use this simple help sheet, created by Aaron: How to Change Your Google Apps Password

How do I book a shared resource (a laptop cart, or a room) using shared calendars?
You can make reservations straight into most shared calendars. Follow the instructions on these handy video tutorials created by Aaron:

PART 1: Subscribing to a shared calendar

Google Calendars Booking – Part 1 from YIS Academics on Vimeo.

PART 2: How to make reservation on a shared calendar

Google Calendars Booking – Part 2 from YIS Academics on Vimeo.

You don’t have permission to make bookings on all shared calendars, because some calendars are controlled by specific people such as Akemi. For those calendars look online to see availability then go and see the person.

How do I access the bulletin board?

Another great tutorial from Aaron answers this one:

The Bulletin Board from YIS Academics on Vimeo.

Why Google?

A few great resources about Google:

Get Going with Google Apps in Your School by Lisa Nielson

As many teachers know, Google Apps Education Edition is a free suite of hosted communication & collaboration applications designed for schools and universities. Here are Lisa’s top tips for getting started.

100 Ways Google Can Make You a Better Educator

From the post:

We all know that Google offers a great search program, and you might even use other apps like Gmail or Google Calendar, but have you realized what Google has to offer for educators and students? Using Sites, Google Earth, Wave, and more, you can turn your classroom into a place where you can share, collaborate, and publish on the world wide web. Read on to find out how you can put Google to work for your class.

Who Owns Your Data? by Lisa Thumann

Lisa is a Google Certified Teacher and an all-around Google Apps Guru. She put together some great resources on data ownership and privacy for Google Apps schools (like us).

Hey, Mathletes: Google Docs Adds Support for Equations from Mashable.com

Google announced some nifty updates to Google Docs today, focused on students as they get back to their books and into the classroom. The document collaboration tool now supports equation notation, superscript, subscript, and language translations.

And a few great Google search tips: