Layering Google Calendar for Classroom Website

Thanks to Google Calendar it is so easy to maintain and share calendars with individuals or the “Whole Wide World.” If you are a teacher with a classroom website or blog you might find Google Calendar  a handy tool. All the edits you make to a Class event or Homework Calendar is edited in “Real Time”. Your changes sync synchronously with the website calendar. If you use a Google Calendar for lesson planning you can save time by making a duplicate of the event  and adding it to the classroom Calendar.

One of the beauties of a Google Calendar is it’s layering feature. This means the teacher can layer more than one calendar on top of one another to compare daily events throughout the district, or different content areas. A layered calendar can be embed into a website. It is easy to maintain a homework calendar, layered with a classroom event calendar for the public to see. These individual calendars are housed as separate calendars under the MyCalendar section of Google Calendars.

Direction for Embedding a Google Calendar

NOTE: Each Calendars layer needs to be shared as public
Please follow these directions:
  1. On a computer, open Google Calendar
  2. Click the down arrow to the right of the calendar
  3. Select Share this Calendar
  4. Click the Calendar Details Tab
  5. Scroll down to Embed this Calendar Section
  6. Click Customize to change color, size, along with other options
    • This is located above embed code
  7. Scroll down to the Calendars to Display Section
  8. Select the Calendars you would like to layer
  9. Go to the top of the page and click update HTML Button
  10. Copy and paste the code into the website


Can’t Edit My Doc! What do I do???


Matthew Inman  CC BY 3.0

Teaching basic self-help computer strategies should be just as important as learning to  use digital tools for creating and collaborating. Just think how much time could be saved if one knew some basic tips. I bet there are a lot of times when a simple fix could save stress and time for teachers and students.

Basic Troubleshooting Strategies

  1. Open the Internet Browser

  2. Try Clearing the Internet Browsers cookies and cache

  3. Next try to use the Browser in Incognito or private window

  4. If Private mode works then try:

  5. Disabling  extensionsadd-onsplug-ins

When all else fails: Try a different browser to see if it is a browser related issue

Google Drive Folders Who Needs Organization???

“How do I organize Google Drive?” is one of the questions I hear most often. My first response generally is, “Remember Google is famous for its Search Engine.” This means “Organization” shouldn’t be an issue. The response is often a dumbfounded look.

Truthfully the folder structure is very easy to create and maintain. It is similar to setting up a house and keeping it clean. If one doesn’t stay on top of things it becomes an unorganized mess. However the beauty of Google Drive doesn’t lie within the bounds of organized folders and file structure. Yes! You heard this right. Remember the words, “Search Engine.” Google integrated the search feature to work very well to locate files and folders.

Benefits in the Classroom

  1. Teacher can find files & folders on the fly
  2. No need to open folder tree, and scroll through dozens of folders & files
  3. Lessens  stress for students over maintaining organized files & folders
  4. Lessens stress load for teachers
  5. Supports students with becoming organized

Google Drive Filter Search to the Rescue

Sometimes it can be stressing searching for a file a colleague has shared with you. Especially if the user thinks they’ve lost or  deleted the file.

Don’t give up hope!

Do a Google Drive Filter Search before spending hours on end trying to figure out which folder the file resides in.

A filter search allows the user to search by file type, date modified, item name, words or phrases within a document, file owner, whom the file was shared with, and location (my drive, starred or trash.” Below is a demo of how easy it is to do a filter search by using a colleagues email address.

Acrostic Poems & Google Docs No Way!

Yes! It is possible to create an Acrostic Poem in a Google Doc. Did I hear you say, “Oh how can this be?” “There is no vertical orientation for a text box or a vertical font?” The answer is within a Google Drawing.

Doc's insert vertical text Acrostic Poem.gif

Creating Vertical Text for Acrostic Poem

  1. Open Google Doc and give it a name
  2. Go to Insert in the Doc’s Toolbar
  3. Scroll down to Drawings & Click
  4. Create a narrow Text Box
  5. Select Font Size
  6. Align Text: Left, Center or Right
  7. Type the word
  8. Click the Blue Save & Close Button
  9. Set the Drawing Margin to “0”
  10. Choose text break
  11. Type the poem in an open area of the doc
  12. Move the horizontal text and adjust as needed
  13. Change line spacing & font size of poem if necessary

NOTE: Students can insert images, change font color and type styles to personalize their poem.

Boom! Now you Created an Acrostic Poem!

Google Forms Force A Copy

Yesterday I received the following tweet from Laurie Anastasioelementary teacher in California. This started me thinking about the use of forcing a Google Forms Copy.

Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 5.59.20 PM

When facilitating a PD workshop or classroom of students who are beginning to explore and learn about creating Google Forms forcing a copy might be the easiest way to share a template. When a user who is signed onto the Google Account clicks on the shared link a window pops open like this one:

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 7.35.12 AM.png

The user clicks on the Blue Make a Copy Button and this copies the Form to their Google Drive. Once the Google Form is house in the Google Drive the student can start editing the form which is automatically set to private share (No Collaborators) due to copying the file.

Steps to Create a Google Forms Forced Copy Link

  • Open a Google Forms
  • Click the More Icon
  • Scroll down and click Add Collaborators

Forms More Icon

  • A new window pops open
  • Under “Who has access” click blue change to the right of Private

Share Window.jpg

  • In the Link Sharing window select one:
    • Public on the web
    • Anyone with Link
  • Click the Blue Save Button

select one.jpg

  • Followed by Clicking the Blue Done Button
  • Go back to the Google Form Screen copy the URL
  • Change edit to copy
  • Copy the new URL and share

change edit to copy


Got a Google??? Who Ya Gonna Call for Help…

 OpenClipart-Vectors / 23290 images          Creative Commons CC0

IMAGINE THIS SCENE: A teacher or student is struggling with creating a Google Doc, Site, slide, sheet, forms, drawings or etc…  They are not coming up the winner in this wrestling match! The teacher or student needs the work finished for the next day at school. Now what do you at 11 pm when friends or colleagues are tucked away in bed? Have you ever found yourself in this situation? Of course you have…  Yup hard to believe but I have!

Did you know Google places “HELP” links within all products? The Help Center generally is housed under the word HELP in a Doc’s Toolbar or the Settings  Icon found in Google Products.  Here you will find instructional tutorials, troubleshooting tips and links to the Google Product Help Forums. In the help forums there are both Google Employees and Top Contributor Experts ready to answer your questions. You will also notice other knowledgeable community members offering valuable information as well! 

TIP: Google Product Expert replies are always marked as such in the lower right hand corner of the thread’s post. 

Google Expert Replied Example

Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 8.34.08 AM

Other Google Users Replied 

Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 8.33.27 AM

Want to Learn More?

Click here to visit the Google Product Help Centers

Click here to Visit Google Product Help Forums