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.

Advertisements

Simplicity & Power of Authentic Learning…

 

This week I stumbled upon Wanda’s Terrel’s Tweet about Day 2 of #SketchCue &  at first thought, “what an opportunity for me to further explore using Google Drawings”. The focus of #SketchCue supports the tenets of learning to create Sketchnotes. A sketchnote is exactly how it sounds. One uses the creative power of drawing and design to capture notes from lectures, research, and etc…  Sketchnoting supports an individual with expressing their content knowledge in a visual format. I found this opportunity to share my Google Drawings Sketchnotes to be engaging and motivating. It was then when I realized a simple activity such as this has the ability to develop into a  “Powerful Authentic Learning Tool” supporting student engagement.

I found myself exploring clipart designs along with examining the meanings for the #SketchCue word topics. After sharing my first sketchnote and receiving a “Like” it dawned on me how this simple use of social media could engage students with further developing vocabulary skills. It always amazes me how a simple activity shared in an authentic manner has the power to motivate the creator. I found myself wanting to contribute new creations every day as well as enjoying reading the creative shares of educators from around the world. It became evident to me authentic learning opportunities are engaging and leads to furthering one’s content knowledge base.

My #SketchCue Day 1 Entry

Word: Arrows

#SketchCue Arrows (1)

My #SketchCue Day 2 Entry

Word: Banners

#SketchCue Banners (1).jpg

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.

Screen Shot 2018-01-17 at 2.05.25 PM.png

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

Collaboration Leads to Innovation

pexels-photo-263370 (1).jpeg

I recently witnessed how communication and collaboration skills support both creative and critical thinking along with innovation. After spending a week at Sloan Kettering in NYC due to a family members cancer journey. During the week I noticed not one doctor made a decision without consulting a team of experts. I saw true collaboration and experienced the positive effects which develops from such teamwork. More than ever I understand why this cancer research center has one of the best reputations for providing innovative therapies and medicines.

The experience was a good example of how collaboration and communication naturally supports both creative and critical thinking. It is these very skills which lead to the development of innovation. I immediately connected this experience with the the 4C’s of learning. Now with greater reasons when integrating educational technology the skills are valued more than ever by me.

One of the reasons I’m passionate about integrating G Suite for Education products is due to the variety of tools they offer for strengthening and exploring the 4C’s. It is my belief the 4C’s are important skills to nurture when guiding students onto a pathway for both academic and future professional success!

Adding Emoticons to Google Slides Comments

Emoticons in Google Comments

Sometimes young and adolescent students respond best to visuals along with simple text. This is why adding emoticons may be useful when making helpful comments on students Google Slides, Docs, Drawings and etc… It is amazing the difference a simple thumbs up or smiley face may make when a student views a comment from a teacher or teaching assistant. Using “Chatspeak” or “Text-Speak” are two different methods young people of today use when digitally communicating with each other. It is this reason why using an emoticons or text-speak for a comment makes sense. You might find a young person may respond to this form of communicating much faster than a long windy comment.

Please note the following tips for adding emoticons to a comment on a Google Doc, Slides, Drawings, or etc… In a Google Doc, Slide, Drawings, Sheet Comment  you can’t just string together characters to form emoticons. What I do is use one of two following workarounds to add emoticons to comments. First one is to use Google’s insert character tool from within the doc, slide or etc.. Insert an emotion into the text area followed by copying and pasting into a comment. The second work-around I use is copying and pasting emoticons from the following website “Twitter Symbols”. Both methods are very easy to use and well worth the positive response you may receive from the students.