Why schools should use Google calendar
School calendars have to accommodate multiple stakeholders
It is time to design the school calendar 2015 and I can almost hear the sighs of the Heads and their teams.Schools have a tough time when they have to plan their school calendar suite. Our provincial school calendar is already available and soon, district officials will despatch their individual calendars to schools.
There is far too much information to be placed on one calendar. Like businesses, schools have multiple secondary calendars as well as their master calendar. There is light at the end of the tunnel: Google's online calendar! Google calendar is the next best thing to school holidays.
How to set up your Google calendar - the short version
Google calendar is a free web-based application. You only need a gmail account and access to the internet.
Create a gmail account for your school if you do not have one. Next, create a google calendar.
There are many good blogs and Youtube resources on how to create your google calendar on the web, therefore I am not going to repeat those steps. Do some surfing to familiarize yourself with the Google calendar app.
Benefits of using the online Google calendar
Google calendar is a versatile time management and project planning tool. As you navigate the calendar application, you will discover that the calendar is probably one of those web apps that you can't do without.
I will highlight six benefits that I believe, should be sufficient evidence for you to create your calendar after reading this blog post.
1. Real time access to your calendar
Your calendar is stored online, making it accessible to you and your groups anywhere , anytime. You can access the calendar from your computer, your tablet or from your phone.
You are able to view calendar events over various time frames. There are daily, weekly, monthly and year views available.
2. Share selected calendar activities with specific groups.
You can share the calendar with different groups. You set the permission levels to specify what information user groups can access. There is the colour-coded functionality to populate the various calendar layers. For example, the calendar events that you share with parents will exclude certain activities that apply to your teaching staff.
4. Changes to the calendar can be done effortlessly
Invariably, there are always changes to calendars. These changes can cause havoc because of the various groups that must be informed. With Google calendar, changes can be made immediately and everybody will have the updated version in real time.
5. Syncing capabilities with other platforms.
You can sync Google calendar with your outlook calendar on your iPhone as well. This integration makes it easy for you to manage your professional and private diaries seamlessly and effectively.
6. Use Google calendar to communicate with parents.
Parents use social media like Facebook and Whatsapp and are therefore familiar with web-based applications. Sharing Google calendar with parents is another strategy to build a deeper relationship with parents. Parents will need a gmail account. Schools can run fun coaching sessions with parents to register their own gmail account.
Even education district officials can sharpen their communication with schools by using a shared Google calendar. My research shows that there are many districts that use Google calendar, a practice that I can't wait to share with the schools I serve. By having an integrated calendar, we will improve our communication efficiencies - a win-win situation in this information-rich world of work.
Do you still think you can cope without an online calendar after this pitch?
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