Creating and Embedding Course Specific Calendars into your Class Site
Using a calendar to communicate class due dates and provide access to related documents and information can be very beneficial for students. Communication of class due dates and expectations is very important. It is also important to consider ease of use when adopting a new tool or resource. In this case, you might want something that will allow you to communicate class/course specific information with more than one class. Google Calendar is easy to use, and you can create a calendar for each class. Plus, you can add anything to any of the calendars from one central calendar using your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Google Calendars can also be embedded directly into a class site. This allows you to update the calendar directly from your phone which will then automatically update on your site.
To create a calendar for one of your classes, simply go to your Google Calendars page, click on my calendars, and choose Create a Calendar. Then give the calendar a name, and you can also add a brief description. You can also choose a calendar color and sharing options. To make this work for this particular task, you will need to make the calendar public. This can be done in the settings like seen in the picture to the right. Doing this makes it so anyone can see your calendar. Now all you have to do is set it up so people can find your calendar.
Your best bet is to embed the calendar you created into your website. The easiest method is if you use Google Sites. Google Sites has an insert option. You can insert your calendar from there as long as you are using the same Google account. If you use a website service other than Google, you will have to embed the calendar manually. You just copy and paste the html embed code into the site. In some sites you can paste it right into the content whereas some website resources, like WordPress, have a html insert feature.
Now that you have a calendar for each of your classes, you can create entries. Click on your calendar where you want to create an entry. I usually click edit once in the popup window so I have more modification options. You can name the event, choose a specific time or mark it as an all day event, add a location, choose the calendar the event should appear on, add a description for your entry, and add attachments if you want. Possible attachments can include assignment sheets or rubrics. This feature is useful if a student loses their assignment sheet or if parents want easy access to class materials.
Do you use a calendar in your classes? What information and features do you include? Are you using this tool optimally so your students are getting the most benefit out of it? Let us know. Follow me on Twitter @JoshuaElliott3 for more tips and ideas.