Day 4 of Google 2019 – Google Calendar

Screen Shot 2019-12-01 at 6.54.15 AM.pngFor the fourth day of Google, I thought I would focus on Google Calendar.


Inviting Colleagues

You have always been able to add other people to a calendar invite. Recently, I discovered that you can invite colleagues right from the opening pop up screen. Once you add at least one person, their calendar will temporarily show up on the screen overlaying with your calendar. This way, you can quickly find a particular time that would work. In the example below, my Google Calendar is Red, while my colleagues is Lime Green. The moment I add my colleagues name, her calendar shows up. Then I can move the appointment accordingly.


Go To Date

At the beginning of each school year, I am given a document indicating all required after school meetings that I must attend. It can be tedious trying to click through each week or month by selecting the right arrow. I recently discovered that while in Google Calendar, if you use the short cut “g”, a Go To Date pop up window shows up. Type in the date you are interested in getting to, and magically it shows up.


NOTE: You must have keyboard shortcuts activated in Google Calendar in order for this to work. To activate, select the settings gear on the top right, followed by the check box under keyboard shortcuts checked. Once this is enabled, if you are curious about other shortcuts in Google Calendar you would just type “/” and a pop up window with options will appear.


Search in Calendar

Now, I am embarrassed to say that I didn’t know you could search for calendar events right in calendar. This is something that should not have surprised me seeing as though Google is all about searching. If you are trying to find details from a particular calendar event or when particular calendar event happened in the past, use the search feature, rather than going back week by week until you find what you are looking for.

To search in Calendar, type “?”. A search box will show up on the top of your screen. Type in a key word and all calendar events with that key word will show up. A lot less time wasted using this approach.

If you have any questions on this or other Google Calendar items, you know where to find me. And that is my Spiel…


Day 4 of Google: Google Calendar

On the fourth day of Google, we will look at Google Calendar.

Google Calendar (web version) has recently received an upgrade to mimic the mobile version of Google Calendar. Don’t have the new Google Calendar? Select the blue icon on top right that says Use New Calendar. I am a big fan of the refreshed look.

One change, is that you are able to gain more real-estate on the screen. By selecting the hamburger icon on the top left corner, you can determine whether or not you want the small month calendar and list of calendars you follow to appear or disappear.

Keyboard Shortcuts
In the change, I stumbled upon shortcuts that pertain to Google Calendar. I don’t believe that these shortcuts are now, just never thought to look them up to use.

For instance, with the click of a number between 1-4 you are able to switch between different views of the calendar on your screen. You can also use d for day view, w for week view and m for month view.

Other Keyboard shortcuts of potential interest

Mobile Version of Calendar

For those of you who have Google Calendar on your mobile device, you have the ability to set a Goal. Google Calendar will then schedule sessions for you to reach that particular goal. You have the ability to say you want to exercise, build a skill, be with family & friends, have time to your self, or organize your life.

Let’s say I want to have Google Calendar help me build a skill. I tell Calendar what I plan on doing, indicate how often I want it to be done (once a week, every day, etc), indicate for how long I want to do it for, and indicate when the best time would be. Calendar will then look at my calendar to find a time slot to add that particular skill into my day. If I don’t like what it came up with, I can make the change.

And that is my Spiel…

Supporting Students through Appointment Slots

A year ago, I wrote a blog post on how you could set up appointment slots in Google Calendar for people to sign up to reserve a time. This is a helpful process as it automatically shows up in your calendar. This feature can be used for many purposes, such as student conferencing and/or presentation time slots.

Well this year, I have a follow up to that blog post. This year, a humanities team decided to give their students an opportunity to choose what they wanted to learn, during a particular unit, and showcase to the rest of the class. Of course there were parameters as the learning had to be tied to an essential question.
Krystin Cooney and Jess Hatzidakis asked both the librarian (Jess Gilcreast) and I if we would be willing to help out their students when it came time for researching and finding the ‘right’ tool to showcase their work. Of course, we said yes! They clearly stated that they were not looking for Gilcreast and I to put together a presentation to the whole class. Instead, they wanted students to sign up for a time slot to meet with either of us to talk more specifics about their project. To be honest, Gilcreast and I thought that this was brilliant, especially since students had choice in what and how they were presenting to the class. Both the students and Gilcreast and I got more out of the conversation than if we spoke in front of the whole class. This is something that I hope to continue doing in the near future for other classes.
Process for Creating Appointment Slots
  • Krystin and Jess sent Gilcreast and I a couple of dates to choose from to be available to come into class. Gilcreast attended class a week prior to me seeing as though she was helping the students with research questions. I showed up the following week to help answer questions on putting ideas together.
  • Jess Hatzidakis then created the appointment slots for students to choose from. Want instructions on how to do this? CLICK HERE These appointment slots were created under her account. We had talked about how Jess Gilcreast and I could each create our own appointment slots but the teachers wanted to make it easier for the students to sign up and only have to look through one calendar. – Very smart thinking on her part!
  • Once a student signed up for a time slot, Jess Hatzidakis went into the calendar event and added either Gilcreast or myself to the appointment, depending on whether it was for research or type of tool question. I would then accept the invite and it showed up in my own calendar. The nice thing about appointment slots is that Google automatically adds the person who is requesting the time slot to the title. Very handy!
This image shows what my calendar looked like from students signing up. I just marked off in my calendar to be available from 11:00 – 2:30 for my own purposes. You will notice I had a meeting with 4 different student groups (12:10pm, 12:20 pm, 12:40 pm and 1:30 pm). I choose this mode so that you did not see student names associated to the calendar. This method was great as I knew exactly who I was helping prior to going to the classroom.
If you have any questions on how you can use this method in your classes, you know where to find me.
And that is my spiel…

Setting Up Conference Meetings using Google Calendar

Many of us can relate to having students sign up for a one-on-one conference with students for a particular project/assignment. Many of us passed around a sheet of paper and students signed up by putting their name on a piece of paper. Many of us had students email times that were good until we found a time that worked out great. There is nothing wrong with either of the above mentioned methods. However Google Calendar can help streamline and make this process a bit more efficient as well as remind you of your meeting time.

Google Calendar has a feature called Appointment Slots with all GAFE accounts. In other words, you cannot use this approach on a personal gmail account. It is also important to understand that in order to use the method, students MUST have a gmail account in order to sign up for an appointment slot.

Examples of this Feature:

  • Teachers setting up meetings with students during Midterm week for oral presentations that occur out of the classroom
  • Administrators giving teachers opportunities to sign up to go over evaluations
  • Librarian giving teachers opportunities to send entire classes down to pick up a new novel or textbook (this is something that our Librarian, Mrs. Gilcreast, has set up for our teachers to help streamline the process of knowing when classes can pick up textbooks and novels).

Below are instructions to using Google Calendar Appointment Slots

Step 1: Create a Calendar
Create a calendar that is separate from the default calendar that was created (don’t use the calendar with your name on it). You might want to create a calendar called meetings or appointments.

You will add the name of the calendar, on the next window. It is also important to change the sharing permissions to anyone in your school domain. Then hit the Create Calendar button

Step 2: Create the Event
The new calendar will show up under your own calendar. Once this is done, click anywhere on the day you want to create the appointment. A pop up window will appear. Be sure to select Appointment slots at the top.

The pop up window view will change – click on Edit details to fill out all the necessary information.

Step 3: Add information to Event
Add the necessary information to your event. Make sure you also select the RIGHT calendar from the drop down.  Important to note that you create an event for the entire amount of time you are available and then determine how long you want the appointment slots to be. Google Calendar will then automatically create each of them individually.

Step 4: Sharing the Link to Calendar
The link to this calendar is provided. This is the link that you would need to put somewhere for students to access, either through Google Classroom or a Teacher Google Site. Students will not be able to view your available appointment slots unless they have this particular link. Students must be logged in with their Google account (if they are not already logged in).

Step 5: Signing Up for Appointments
Once a student clicks on the calendar link, they will see the appointments that are available. Below are the separate appointments that were created from one entry 9am – 12pm availability with 15 minute appointment slots. As students start signing up for a time, they will no longer show up.
NOTE: When you hover over an appointment, it will actually give the specific time.
NOTE: You can also sign up for your own appointments if there are times that you want to block off throughout the block of time you created.

Once the student selects a time for an appointment, a window will show up with the details before saving and accepting it. You will notice that the name of the person who is requesting the appointment will automatically show up. This will be helpful for you knowing who will be showing up.

Once the student chooses a time, the appointment will automatically show up in your Google Calendar. Just click on the appointment and you will know who requested that time slot.

If you would like further assistance with trying out this method, feel free to stop by and ask.

Hiding Morning and Night Times in Google Calendar

The default to Google Calendar is for the entire day (24 hours) to show. There is a way however to set a particular range of time – times that you work or times that make most sense to you. You must enable a Google Calendar lab called Hide Morning and Night. The following screencast will walk you through the steps.