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)

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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.

Using Forms as a Motivational Tool…

I never met a student who truly didn’t care about receiving a “Good Grade”. This post is about supporting the students who  are struggling and have difficulty internalizing grades.  Have you ever noticed these students tend to be the ones who are motivated by achieving high game scores? If the student learns to internalize grades like they do game scores would they be motivated to improve?

Google Forms and Sheets visually provides the ability for a student to see the slightest upward grade movement. If grades keep moving upward in little leap and bounds the student may view this as a positive change. Using a Google Form to graph a series of grades may help with self-internalization. If the student views a constant upward movement could this become a “magical key” to “unlocking doors” and boosting esteem?

Creating a Student
Visual Grading Tool

Using Google Forms and Sheets

Following are the steps for creating a Google Forms and linking a Sheet for student internalization of Grades.

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Directions: Creating the Form

Form title

  • Click Dropdown Arrow Left of Multiple Choice
  • Select Date
  • Click Untitled Question Area
    • Type DATE

Forms Date.gif

  • Click Plus Sign to Add Question Type

click plus sign

  • Click Dropdown Arrow Right of Multiple Choice

dropdown arrow

  • Select Short Answer
  • Type Content Area Grades in “Question Field”

short answer

Directions: Linking Sheet

  • Open the Form
  • Click Responses Tab
  • Click Green Favicon to Link Sheet
  • Select Create a New Spreadsheet or Select Existing Spreadsheet

NOTE:
Selecting Existing Spreadsheet Adds the data on a new sheet in an existing spreadsheet.

Directions: Use Explore for Chart

  • Open the Sheet
  • Click Explore
  • An Analysis Chart (graph) is automatically generated from the data
  • Add to Sheet by Clicking Graph Favicon

add graph.gif

NOTE:
Chart maybe added to the spreadsheet or inserted into another Google File

Research Projects Made Easier…

When it comes to research projects why should students struggle due to reading levels of resources found on the internet? What would teachers say if a search engine could be focused upon research content appropriate for younger students and lower readers? It is my belief these tools benefit students with becoming independent learners. When children feel successful with completing tasks they start to internalize the value of “Research”. Once students understand the value of research it is easier to build and introduce more advanced search skills. Next time one plans a research project why not set the students up for success by sharing a search engine scaffold to their needs.

How to Create a Custom Google Search Engine

Screen Shot 2017-12-31 at 1.37.36 PM

Screen Shot 2017-12-31 at 1.43.48 PM.png

  • Click Create a custom search engine or New search engine

New search engine

  • In Sites to search box, type the sites you want to include for the search results
  • In Name Search Engine Box,  type the name for the new search engine
  • Finish by Clicking the Blue Create Button

Type Website URL

  • Copy embed code or public link for sharing

NOTE: Embed Code will allow you to place the search box on your website or in a blog.

 

Freedom Thank You Pixel 2!

pixel 2 .png

Wow I never thought a phone could have the ability to provide both freedom and independence. If you are a person of physical exceptionalities you might relate to this. I have a spine condition which sometimes challenges both my small and large motor movements. In the past this has prevented me from taking selfies and photos. I wasn’t able to apply enough pressure to activate a smartphone’s camera. Now thanks to the Pixel 2 and Google Assistant I can say, “Take a Selfie” or “Take a Photo”.

It is amazing how something so simple could help someone complete a task others take for granted. Due to my position as a Teaching Assistant I see students take on challenges everyday. When technology is integrated with a specific objective in mind it could support the student with becoming an independent learner. What better motivator then working without an adult hovering over you every second. Devices such as the Pixel 2 could provide this ability for students.

The speech to operational function the Pixel 2 offers is absolutely amazing. I can say, “Open a Google Doc” and the Google Docs APP opens. Then it is a matter of finding the doc and tapping it. Once the document is fully open all the user has to do is talk to type. The accuracy of the speech to text editor built into this device is absolutely amazing. Not only does the device type or read for the student but it can do a Google Voice search. This makes the research process much easier for those students who struggle due to lower reading or writing skills.  These are just a few reasons why I’m thankful for the Freedom a Pixel 2 Smartphone provides.

Why I’m Passionate about Using Tech…

Ability

Technology devices can be seen everywhere these days. People of all ages are using digital devices for both learning and entertainment. What I like most about using technology supports is the magic it may unfold for those with both learning and physical disabilities.  Many moons ago it was this very reason I fell in love with using technology. I had this dream of unlocking doors for students who were challenged by fitting into inclusion classrooms.  When looking at a whole classroom community one should not be able to distinguish the challenged student from their peers. This is where technology may be used to assist with supporting student’s independents during certain classroom activities.

Present day schools have a tendency to integrate 1to1 devices. This doesn’t necessarily mean one device per student all day to take home at the end of the day. However what it does is provides the opportunity to use a digital device throughout the day during certain activities. Thanks to this students with disabilities are able to interact with classmates without an adult hovering at their side. Independents maybe one of the best esteem builders for some challenged students.  Due to my position as a teaching assistant one of the most common statements students have made over the years is, “I can do this by myself.” Students often state this because they feel uncomfortable and zeroed out by their peers for having an adult assist them all the time.

Digital devices may unlock a student’s freedom by reading or writing for them. There are applications such as Google Calendar, and Keep which may be used to support student organization. These tools may also be used as a way to quietly communicate with a student. This is due to the sharing ability of calendars and Keep Notes. It allows an adult to indiscreetly edit the information a student types in. These tools also allow teachers and support staff to provide interactive links, videos, visuals, audios and etc… to help the students with learning the information presented in the classroom. I view using technology as a tool to bolstering a students esteem by helping them to independently interact within a classroom community. What better tool to use then one which empowers students to independently participate within a classroom community.