Easily Ungroup Shared Calendars

In the Google Help Forums, I spotted the following question. “If there was a tool for ungrouping and grouping shared Google Calendars?” Naturally, my reply was you can group shared calendars by checking them off individually. However, there is a tool for users to ungroup all at once by using the following steps.

  1. Open Google Calendar
  2. Click Option Settings (3 vertical dots) for the Calendar to leave open
  3. Select “Display this Only”

I suggested to the user about grouping calendars together and embedding into a New Google Site. My idea would provide a simple method for viewing several team member calendars at once.

You may find the following Google Help Center resources beneficial:

  1. CALENDAR: Add a Google Calendar to your Website
  2. NEW SITES:Add Google Files Video & More
    • Scroll to Section: Add HTML, CSS, or JavaScript code to your site

If you would like more detailed instruction please leave a comment.

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Why Dim Google Calendar Past Events???

The “New Google Calendar” user interface (UI) offers quite a few helpful updates such as brightness control for past events. You might be thinking, “Why is it important to dim the color of past events?” In the world of education this is one of those “No Brainer” answers in support of visual learners. If a students maintains a Google Calendar as a schedule for school assignments and events it supports them with visually keeping track of daily activities. When a student is absent or behind and notices an event appears a brighter or pastel color this sets a signal off to check the event. The new calendar also offers both notification and reminder tools. When all three calendar tools are used together this becomes a powerful support for helping students keep track of everyday school activities.

G-cal Past events

How to Reduce Google Calendar Event Brightness

  1. Open Google Calendar
  2. Click Gear Icon (upper right corner)
  3. Select Settings
  4. Scroll Down to View Options Section
  5. Uncheck “Reduce the brightness of past events”
  6. Click Settings Back Arrow

7 Fav Tips Using New Google Calendar

According to the October 2017 G Suite Blog post the transition from the “Classic Google Calendar” UI to the  “New Google Calendar” UI will be completed by February 28, 2018. After G Suite made the announcement about the updated interface I decided to switch and explore the New Google Calendar. Everyday I use Google Calendar to communicate and collaborate sharing classroom information with both teachers, teacher aides and teaching assistant. Following are are a few of my favorite tips for effectively using the New Google Calendar UI.

1- Expanded or Condensed View

Clicking the Main Menu Icon (3 horizontal bars)

Screen Shot 2018-02-11 at 6.53.20 PM
expands or condenses the calendar view.

Calendar expand & Contract

NOTES:
As a bifocal wearer I find the expanded view easier to read.

2- Show Weekdays Only

  • Click Gear Icon
  • Select Settings

Select Settings

  • Scroll to “View Options” Section
  • Uncheck “Show Weekends”
  • Changes are Automatically Saved

Uncheck Show weekends

NOTES:
I push into classrooms to assist students and take supplemental notes.
Having my calendar in week view no weekends provides me quick access to the information needed for supporting my students.

3- Add Lists to Events

  • Add or Open an Event
  • Type Agenda Style List
  • Highlight Text
  • Click numbered or Bulleted List

Calendar List

 

NOTES:
Lists are quick & easy to create. I use lists to share classroom information with SPED Teacher, Teaching Assistance and Teacher Aids.

4- Use Bold Face Text

  • Add or Open an Event
  • In Event Composer Click B (Bold)
  • Type word or sentence
  • Click B again to unbold

Cal Bold Text

NOTES:
I like to add bold title to separate my list sections. Examples: Homework, Classroom Activities, Other & etc…

5- Hide Calendars from Listing

  • Click Gear Icon
  • Select Settings
  • Left Sidebar Scroll to Calendar Lists
  • Wave Cursor (Pointer) Right of Calendar Name
  • Click Preview Icon (Looks like Eyeball)
    • A / appears through Preview Icon
    • Calendar no-longer seen in listing

Hide Calendar.gif

NOTES:
If you belong to a handful of Google Classrooms the other calendar list may have grown. I’m a visual learner and find the listing becomes overwhelming when too many calendars are listed. The calendars are important so I don’t want to delete them but hide from the list.

6-Duplicate an Event

  • Click Event
  • Click Options Settings Icon (3 vertical dots)
  • Select Duplicate
  • Click Date Field & Select New Date
  • Edit Information
  • Click Save

Duplicate Event.gif

NOTES:
Duplicating an event is a “Big Timesaver” for me. It saves time adding a new event, typing a title, details and sometime adding new attachments. It is easier and quicker to edit an event already formatted in an easy to read communication style.

7- Dim Color for Past Events

  • Click Gear Icon
  • Select Settings

Select Settings

  • Scroll to “View Options” Section
  • Check “Reduce the brightness of past events”

Dim Events

NOTES:
Once more as a visual learner this supports my finding the daily event with ease.

New Google Calendar Tops the Cake!

As an Educator using a shared Google Calendar may be an efficient “Timesaver” to use in collaboration with colleagues and students. My reasoning is due to every-time the calendar is updated it appears instantly in realtime on a colleagues or students shared calendar. This means nobodies email box has to be inundated with emails & attachments. All worksheets may be attached in a calendar event along with other classroom information. The list feature in the new calendar event editor allows one to organize a “To Do” or “Event List” filled with classroom information.

As an extra bonus a single event may be shared with absent students. If the teacher doesn’t want to share the original event it is easy to duplicate an event to share. The teacher may send a notification email when a new event is shared with a student. This will alert the student there is new event to add to their default calendar. These are just some “Small Possibilities” of how the New Calendar may help both teachers and students save a bit of time within a busy productive day!

How to Add an Event

Typing an Event List

  • Click Event Edit Pencil
  • Screen Shot 2017-11-12 at 7.41.16 AM
  • Select Ordered List or Unnumbered List
  • Type in Add Description Area

Calendar Type List

NOTE: You may Add a Title to the list by bolding first line of text before the list.

Adding Attachments to an Event

 

  • Click Event Edit Pencil
  •  Click Paper Clip (Located Above Add Description Area)
  • Choose between:
    • Google Drive
    • Upload
    • Previously Select
  • Click Drop Down Arrow (Located to Right of Search Window “Omnibox”)
    • Select File Type
    • Type File Name
    • Click Search Icon
    • Select File
    • Click Select Button
    • Click Save Button

Send an Event Notification

  • Click Event Edit Pencil
  • Add a Guest
    • Start Typing a Name or Email Address in
    • Select Name from Drop Down List
  • Click Save Button
  • Pop-out Window Opens
    • Click Send

Calendar Event Notification.gif

Tweaking Questions & Collecting Data…

Thanks to the NJ Ed Tech Team Google Summit  I’m now a proud owner of a Google Home. After playing with the Google Home for a few weeks I started to think about the value an inexpensive tech tool like this could have in a learning environment.

My husband and I noticed the Google Home has a hard time answering “Open Ended Questions”. Due to this one is forced to learn how to ask  “direct questions” to receive answers. It is amazing how quickly question formation changes in avoidance of hearing “I don’t know the answer” or “but I’m learning new things everyday.” 

Google Home

Once this artificial intelligence device started answering  the questions it was easy to understand how it could assist us.  The Google Home can provide the time of day, not only at home but anywhere in the world. It tells about the weather in one’s area, remembers a shopping list, solves math problems, answers factual questions, plays music, looks up recipe ingredients and etc… It can even play trivia games! This helps to hone our knowledge banks for factual information. I have mentioned just a handful of the interactive capabilities a Google Home may provide.

So you may be thinking how might this be used in the classroom? One of my goals is to support students with becoming independent participants within a classroom community. Everyone needs assistance at different times in their life. When a child explores and asks questions to discover answers their communication and critical thinking skills are nurtured.  This sets an environment where the Google Home may be used to provide a correct answer.  A Teacher would jump upon the opportunity to facilitate a classroom discussion about the answer.  This fosters an environment where student esteems are built rather than destroyed. Learning isn’t about spitting out facts but understanding the relationships of the factual information.

One way this may be used in an elementary classroom is though the tracking of daily weather. This is a common routine for most kindergarten classrooms. The student will still look out the window and share observations about what they see. After the information is added to a Google Sheet the student may ask the Google Home about today’s weather for the school’s location. This information may be added to the Google Sheet as well. A quick classroom discussion may occur if the Google Assistant provides a different answer than the physical observation.

This same lesson may be built upon for upper grade levels. It is one way to collect data which could be transferred into scientific or math discussions. This not only hones communication, and critical thinking skills but adds the reinforcement of using data for solving problems. The Google Home is a relatively inexpensive tool which allows the teacher to integrate technology in supportive ways for whole class usage.