Customize Your G-Suite 'Waffle'

Here is a quick tip for you when you are accessing information from you G-Suite 'waffle'. No, I am not talking about the food item. The waffle is an unofficial term that is used when talking about the drop down menu of options for G-Suite applications, once an user is logged into their account. Google pre-populates the icons in the waffle for you. However, many people do not know that you can actually move some of the applications around based on your liking. Check out the demonstration below:

  • Click on the waffle icon on the top right (make sure you are signed into your Google account.
  • Click and drag the application that you want to move.

A Couple of Notes:
  • It appears as though some tools will not show up until G-Suite notices that you use the tool. One example for me was Google Keep. I noticed that after I started accessing the website, the icon showed up in my waffle.
  • Some applications cannot be moved. For instance, Google Classroom, will not show up in the top section of the drop down windo. Not sure why this is. 
  • Some applications just do not seem to exist. For instance, it appears as though a Google Drawing shortcut does not exist.

And that is my spiel...


Using Shortcuts with Screencastify

Screencastify has been a 'go to' tool for our school, especially since it works so nicely with chromebooks. For those of you who have not used Screencastify, I highly recommend that you check it out.

There are many uses of the tool:
  • Create a screencast demonstrating a task
  • Create a screencast highlighting information
  • Record conversation between people
  • Record an audio recording (by using the camera feature but blocking the camera so that it only records a black screen and picks up audio only)
  • Film scenes for a project
What I am most excited about is the fact that you can create your own shortcuts when using Screencastify. Sometimes, I do find it a bit clunky trying to start and stop the screencast without seeing the curser go off the screen. This can help with that. You can create (or use the existing) shortcuts for

Starting Screencastify
Pause/Resume Recording
Start/Stop Recording
Change Recording to Current Tab

Watch the gif below to see how easy this is.

For those of you who have never used Screencastify, or you want a resource for your students, scroll through the Google Slideshow below.

As always, if you have any questions about how you or your students can use this tool in your classroom, you know where to find me.

And that's my spiel...


Adobe Spark: Taking Design to the Next Level

Over the past month, I have been exploring around with a tool called Adobe Spark. Adobe Spark is a relatively new tool that provides a user an opportunity to create:

Visual Post, Video, Web Page

Adobe Spark works on the web (works great on Chromebooks) as well as through mobile apps (Adobe Spark Post, Adobe Spark Video, Adobe Spark Page). The user is able to log into Adobe Spark with their Google Account - it will ask for a birth date. (If you are planning on using this with students below 13, you should talk with your tech integrator to see if this is in fact a tool you should use with your students.) Below is an example of what you can do with Adobe Voice. This video speaks to the three components of Adobe Spark.

Examples of the Tool
This is an example of a Spark Post that I have created.

Clicking on this link will bring you to a Spark Page that I am currently working on for Hour of Code.

Using this Tool in Your Classroom

You could easily use Spark Post to highlight a song, quote, or poem. Students can use Spark Video to promote a product, explain an idea or concept, verbalize a story they wrote, etc. The possibilities are endless. Rather than using Google Slides to present a topic, students could use Spark Page. Students could even take it to the next level and integrate Spark Posts and Spark Videos into their Spark Page.

I have created a 4 step process instructions guideline for students and staff. You can access the actual link to the Google Drawing HERE. The links on the Google drawing will either demonstrate/explain what to do either in GIF or Video format.

Why I Like Adobe Spark
There are many reasons why I like this tool. To name a few...
  • Very easy to use
  • Visually appealing
  • Allows for creativity
  • Allows for student voice and choice

It is important to note that this does not replace G-Suite and its tools. This, however, is a great alternative to the powerful collaboration tool G-Suite from time to time. My challenge for you is to out one of the tools yourself within the next month - once you do one, you will be hooked!

As always, if you have any questions or want to talk about how this tool can be integrated in your own classroom, you know where to find me.

And that is my Spiel...


BHS Becoming Social Media Savvy

For the past two years, tech 222 and counseling have worked together to help educate BHS students about social media use and their digital tattoo. One year, we put on a Social Media Awareness day. The second year, we celebrated social media over a course of a week.

This year, with input from administration and others, we decided to bring the conversation of social media throughout the school year. Each month, we will focus on a particular concept/aspect of social media. Our plan is to also come up with four different activities for students to participate in based on their grade level. We then hope that each advisory participates in the activity during one of the advisory days in that month.

To kick things off, we decided to focus on the positive aspects of social media. For the Freshmen class, they sat through a 30 minute presentation on "Social Media and Your Digital Tattoo" presentation. We focused on the goods, the bads and the cautions of social media. Students were able to see how the freshmen class answered certain questions about social media in the presentation. To view the Prezi presentation, click HERE or view below.

For the rest of the school population, we created these positive digital citizen activities. The idea is for different grade levels to do different activities so that we do not have to re-create the wheel next year - just tweak things.

The following are the topics we plan on talking about for the rest of the school year:
October - Positive Digital Citizen
November - Be Present & Social Media Addition
December - Cyberbullying
January - Mental Health
February - Online Safety
March - Distracted Driving/Distracted Walking

Looking for Resources
Where do you come in? We are looking for suggestions on activities, videos, case studies, conversations etc that we might want to implement throughout the year. We are looking for activities that will connect with and engage high school students. Have any ideas or thoughts...help us out and share in this google form. Looking for ideas beyond just printing a worksheet and having students fill out

Interested in seeing what people are sharing? Click HERE.

Thanks in advance for any ideas/suggestions. At the end of the year, we will share what we have come up with through collaboration from others. Lets help educate our students in an engaging way!


Breaking Out with Co-Worker Collaboration: #BreakoutEDU

(I am embarrassed to say that this blog post was supposed to have been posted 2 months ago. Time just got away from me but still wanted to share and reflect on a great activity.)

In the spring of 2016, I attended a conference at Medfield Public School District where I experience Breakout EDU for the first time. After a short 45 minutes, I was HOOKED as I had a blast participating and could not wait to help bring it to BHS. If you have never participate in a breakout before or you want to learn more about the concept, watch this short video from the company itself.

In talking about what team bonding experience teachers should partake in this year on the first workshop day of the school year, it was determined that we should give #BreakoutEDU a try. So in a collaborative team effort, Zanna Blaney, Dean of Students, Jessica Gilcreast, librarian, Bill Hagen, Principal, and I, as well as other Bulldog team leaders (known as the Decade Dogs), we were able to pull off seven simultaneous Breakouts for the whole professional staff to participate in.


Three of us met over the summer to determine what task we wanted the staff to participate in. We decided to use one that was already made, even though we thought it might be fun to incorporate our high school's history into the activity since we were going to celebrate our school being open for 10 years. The game that we used was called Time Warp. We did this for a couple of reasons...it was geared for adults, the theme was generic enough that all parties would be able to participate in the breakout, and the size of the group was large enough (we needed to split up around 120 people into 7 groups).


Jess Gilcreast had to determine what items needed to be purchased in order to run 7 different breakouts at once. Jess quickly discovered that the items were easy to find in Amazon due to many other people thinking the same thing...just buy it on Amazon. Jess had purchased two breakout boxes at the end of last school year and we were able to coordinate with another school in the district to borrow some of their supplies from their breakout boxes. We were also fortunate enough that our principal had some left over wood at his house and was willing to create 5 additional boxes for us.

Once all of the supplies arrived and the necessary papers were printed, we then put the boxes together. Must say, this took a bit of time, especially since it was our very first time doing this. We also double checked things worked since there were going to be seven different groups running at the same time. What is extremely helpful though is that for every game, there are written instructions as well as a video that help walk you through how the game is run, with the combinations to the locks. Very helpful!

Breakout Day

On the day of the breakout, we set up the seven rooms that were being used for the games and explained how the game was going to run to our other team leaders. A demonstration of where the clues were and why they worked/were connected with each other was explained.

Then the entire professional staff met in the theater. Since they had no clue what they were doing (or even knew what was up our sleeves), we showed the following video. We wanted to make it fun.

We then followed up with some more directions and broke staff up into the seven groups (thanks Zanna). The groups went to their designated spots and the game started. Once the staff broke into their box, they found some celebratory items to wear (celebrating the school turning 10). We all then meet back in the theater to talk about the activity as a whole group.

Below are some pictures from a couple of groups while they were trying to breakout.


  • If classrooms do not have much on the walls to distract people, print additional things to help cause some confusion.
  • Make sure staff whose rooms that are being used are assigned to a completely different classroom so that it is not too easy for them to find clues.
  • Split up your teams and make sure they have cross-discipline representation. Make sure administration is also included in the activity.
  • Have fun.
  • Make sure all team leaders have each other's cell phone number and group text each other. This way, if someone forgets something, they can quickly ask the other team leaders to make sure that the game is run correctly. This was also a great way to know what teams have solved what clues - great motivator.
  • Did I mention that you need to have fun?

In closing, it was well worth the money purchasing BreakoutEDU. As a team leader running one of the breakout games, it was really cool to see staff that I work with in a different light. True collaboration was happening in front of me.

Now, when staff want to use the game in their classes, they just let Jess know and she signs out the items to the teacher. It is also important to note that there is also a digital version of BreakoutEDU. It can be found here. Highly recommend all educators have an opportunity to participate in at least one Breakout. So, when are you going to collaborate with your staff or let your students breakout in class?


Chromebook Challenge #hyperdoc

Inspiration #1
Over the summer, I was introduced to a new term/concept known as a #hyperdoc. You might say well isn't a hyperdoc just a Google Document that has hyperdocs in it? Well, the answer is no. A hyperdoc is a document that has links to other artifacts, videos, articles, games, reviews, etc. Through these links students learn about a concept as well as share their own learning and thoughts with others. To learn more about #hyperdocs, and the work that Lisa Highfill, Kelly Hilton, and Sarah Landis have done, click HERE. I decided to make an attempt with creating a Chromebook challenge hyperdoc (even though it leans more on the side of students mostly learning information and not sharing as much information).

Inspiration #2
I was inspired to produce a Chromebook challenge after hearing about how Lee's Summit R-7 School District created a Chromebook challenge for their students. Their great resource can be found on their technology website HERE. What I like about what they accomplished is that depending on the grade level, different tasks/reminders were given to the students.

Designing the Challenge
Seeing as though this is our second year as a 1:1 Chromebook school, I thought it made sense to do something similar at the high school level however I tried to gamify it a bit. I tried to keep the design of the challenge in mind when creating it as I did not want students to just watch a video explaining everything. I also knew I wanted to make it interactive and include some teachers in the challenge to put a smile on students faces. I also wanted to make it as easy as possible to follow along.

BHS Chromebook challenge was created using a Google Drawing. You can find the actual file HERE. You will notice that there are 8 different tasks for students in advisory to complete.

  • Chromebook Reminders
  • Chromebook Printing
  • Organizing Digital Life
  • Self Management
  • Chromebook Shortcuts
  • Planning Your Days
  • Google Classroom
  • Chrome Settings

The advisor decides the order of the tasks that they complete as a whole group. Whatever the task, the advisor follows along with the bulleted list. Tasks could involve students:

  • watching a video or two
  • looking over instructions in a Google Slide
  • playing a game
  • providing feedback in a padlet wall
  • organizing their own Google Drive
  • personalizing their own Chrome preferences
Documenting Tasks
Once an advisory completes a task, the advisor clicks on the master Google Spreadsheet link in the middle of the Google Drawing. This is where all advisors keep track of what has and has not been accomplished. The advisor finds their name and the turns the 'red x' to a 'green check mark'. 


When all 8 tasks have been completed, the advisory earns a Chromebook challenge badge. Gamifying things makes learning that much more fun. 

As a side note, for every task an advisory completes, their name gets entered in for a free breakfast. There will be a winner for each grade level. Oh and the advisory has the entire month of September to complete the challenge.

Here is to learning while having fun at the same time...


Guardian Resource for Google Classroom Email Summaries

Some teachers at our high school have decided to turn on the Guardian Email Summaries component to Google Classroom. This resource was created to help further explain what Guardian Email Summaries are all about for parents/guardians to reference (if need be). This video is linked on the teacher website letting guardians know that they turned on this feature.


Graph My Math!: Coordinate Plane Templates

A math colleague of mine, Stefan Fritz, found himself in a situation where he constantly was in the need for customized coordinate planes for worksheets, activities, assessments etc that he was creating for his students.

With the lack of great resources out there, he decided to create his own website. How COOL is that? What is this website you ask?


Here a user is able to indicate how they want to customize a coordinate plane to look:
  • scaling of x and y axis
  • labeling of the axes
  • layout of the grid
Once the user has their settings for the grid, they are able to select the download button. This file can then be added to a Google Doc or Google Slide, or any other product they wish. 

* NOTE: The downloaded file type will be a png file.

Big kudos to Stefan for solving a problem he found himself in and allowing other educators to benefit from his hard work in creating this great site!


Math Keyboard Shortcuts for Google Docs

Math teachers know that typing math notation in Google Docs takes a bit of work. Rachel Fairhurst, a middle school math teacher in the Bedford School District, created a Google Doc with a list of shortcuts for her students so that they can type math expressions efficiently and correctly without having to spend the time to find what they are looking for in the equation tool bar. A sample of shortcuts can be seen in the image below. To view the full list of shortcuts that Rachel felt were important for her students click on this Google Doc link.

The trick to getting started in a Google Doc is to open the equation editor in the Google Document under the insert window. There is even a shortcut to inserting an equation without the need of moving the curser to the insert window.

Chromebook Shortcut: Alt + I + E (Alt + I will open the Insert window. E then opens the Equation editor)

Mac Shortcut: Ctrl + Option + I + E (Ctrl + Option + I will open the Insert window. E then opens the Equation editor)

Demonstration of Using the Shortcuts

For example: If I am looking to typing the following equation in a proper math notation in a Google Doc


I would type the following:
y=3\pi(space bar key)x+\frac(space bar key)5(tab key)8

For a better demonstration, watch this short view.

Big Thanks to Rachel for sharing this great resource for students!


Gamifying Professional Development - #GoogleSheets

This past semester Jess Gilcreast, our librarian, and I worked together in creating ways our staff could earn professional development hours besides sitting in a formal training. Our goal was to help create flexibility and adhere to different learning styles. One such way that we accomplished this was through offering professional development training through Gamification, using Google Sheets.

The Inspiration
This inspiration came from Bob Petitto. Not only was I impressed with the work that he had published on his blog, but I was also inspired by his Chrome in 30 Day activity that he put together. I appreciated the fact that he provided a way for his staff to learn about the Chrome browser on their own time by completing 30 different tasks. His original blog post on his 30 day challenge can be found HERE.

I also was inspired by the work that our Freshmen humanities teachers put together, Heath Ahnert, Steph Burnham, Krystin Cooney, Jess Hatzidakis, Steward Pepper, and Meg Uliasz. Their ultimate goal was to help students truly understand the process of researching and citing acquired information for a research paper. Thus, they gamified the task. Based on student decision on which specific tasks they completed, different items would appear with their explorer. The more challenges the students completed, the more elaborate items would appear, truly creating a 'game' out of learning. Such an awesome way for staff to connect with students. These teachers did great work and they came back stating that the students loved the activity.

Gamifying Professional Development
So, with the two above incidences, Jess Gilcreast and I put together our own activity that related to tech training we wanted our staff to know. The link to our Gamification PD Google Sheet can be found HERE. Feel free to use, we just ask that you please give credit.

Instructions Tab:
Instructions for the user explaining how to use the sheet. A video is even included for the user to help them with navigating through the Google Sheet.

My Badges Tab:
As the user completes tasks a certain badge will show up on their 'certificate'. If a user completes all four tasks, all of them show up on their certificate, one in each corner of the certificate.

These were the four badges that Gilcreast created for the certificate. All done by using Google Drawings.

PD Tabs:
We offered four different opportunities for the staff: Chrome Browser, Researching w/ Google, Chrome Extensions, and Google Updates. In order for a staff member to receive a badge, they had to complete all tasks under that topic. You will also notice that a reflection section was added at the bottom of each tab. We wanted to know what their biggest take away from the activity was as well as any questions they still had that we could help answer.

NOTE: Some things might be outdated at this time as this was something we put together for Spring semester of 2016.

Benefits to this Type of Learning?
  • Staff learn at their own pace
  • Staff learn when they want to learn (learning should happen beyond the walls of the school - we hear this all the time with student learning so why shouldn't it apply to our staff as well)
  • Staff are competitive
This was the very first time that I had done anything in terms of Gamifying. Not only did I have fun deciding what to include, I also gained a great appreciation for what Google Sheets can do for you. I also enjoyed collaborating with my librarian. I know that I have already said this but thanks for the inspiration Bob Petitto and Freshmen Humanities team. My hope is that in the future more staff in our school will take advantage learning in this format.


No Connection Error? Play the Dinosaur Game!

From time to time, we have all seen this chrome message when our internet connection is not working. Well, have no fear as you can entertain yourself until the connection gets resolved or you find something else better to do.

To play the dinosaur game, hit the up arrow. Soon you will discover that your dinosaur on the top left corner of your screen will start running. But be careful, as there will be objects in your way that you must jump over.

The question that I have for you is, how many points can you get with your dinosaur?


iMovie + iPhone = Easy Movie Creation

I know that I am 'late to the party' on this one but I still felt it was important to share my thoughts on iMovie and on the iPhone. Each year for Intersession (our school shuts down for three days prior to Spring break for students and teachers to participate in some sort of learning outside of the classroom), I tend to be the one that gathers all of the pictures that were taken from our experiences and put them together in a movie. In past years, I have defaulted to using my iPad as this is what I had always used to make a movie. This time, I pushed myself to actually make the movie on my phone.

Why you might ask?

  • My iPad is going on 4 years old.
  • My iPad's camera is nothing compared to my iPhone.
  • My iPhone is with me at all times.
  • iMovie is a free app that works on iPhones (as well as iPads).

Link to iMovie App from iTunes

I thought that this would be a great opportunity to push myself to do something that I would not otherwise do. I can tell you that my experience with the app on my phone far exceeded my expectations. I thought that the smaller screen size would cause me more issues and have trouble with navigating/creating the movie. I was wrong. I adapted to the size very quickly. I was able to pull in all of my video clips, images, and music from my phone. When done, I was able to send the movie file to YouTube so that others could watch it.

Now, I am not saying that iMovie is the only tool that one should use when making a movie. In fact, YouTube has a good video editor built into their product that I like to use when creating videos on a laptop or Chromebook. Because our students have Chromebooks at our school, we have been having students record their videos using the chrome extension Screencastify and then sending those video clips to YouTube. This way they can use the YouTube editor to create their movie project. 

For this particular instance of me being on the go all three days, I just found iMovie helpful knowing that while I was on the bus coming back from trips, I was able to put together a movie on my phone. Once I got to a location where I had wifi access, I then sent the final movie file to my School YouTube channel for viewing. 

So, whenever you are find yourself on a school trip, or a personal trip, and you want to share your experience with others, consider using this app. You will find that you can be productive when you don't have access to wifi and then send the final product to YouTube when you do. You will be amazed at how polished your work will turn out.


Use Google Form Templates for Exit Tickets & Course Evals

Over the past couple of days, I have spent some time looking at templates that Google has created for its products. More specifically, I came across some templates with Google Forms. Two of them that I feel could be very useful for teachers are the Exit Ticket and Course Evaluation templates. They are short sweet and to the point. I also like the fact that you have the ability to make any changes that you want with the templates by adding your own questions and/or deleting ones that you don't find useful/important.

To see the template options, go to the Google Forms direct link forms.google.com. If you go the route of creating a new Google Form from your Google Drive account, you will not see the option to create a form from a template. But by hitting the back button, Google will bring you to their form's homepage where you will see the available templates. The video below will quickly explain how to get to the Google Form templates.

When it comes to exit tickets, I know that there are tools out there that do the same thing, such as Socrative, but using the exit ticket template in Google Forms can be great for those instances that you
  • don't want students to have to log into a different tool/system
  • don't have a lot of time and want to quickly get the exit ticket to students through Google Classroom
As always, if you have any questions, you know where to find me.


Google Slides - Using Drawing Features

This week, I was invited to attend Sophomore Humanities classes showing students how they can use Google Slides to help create a collaborative children's digital story book.  Most people are very comfortable with doing the 'basics' when it comes to Google Slides - add some text and images. In the Google Slide presentation below, you will find tips on how to change the page height and width of the slide presentation as well as using some of the drawing features in Google Slides.

Check it out for yourself...did you know you could do the following in Google Slides?

NOTE: You might be asking, why not just use Google Drawings for the draw features. You most certainly can do that however the big difference with Google Drawings is the number of pages. You are only allowed one Google Drawing page, while you have the ability to add multiple pages in Google Slides.


Commenting in Google Docs - Notice the Change?

Google has made it easier for you to enter in a comment in a Google Document. I noticed that we actually received the update today in our school domain. Check it out in the gif below:


1. Highlight the text
2. Select the Comment button on the right side of the Google Document
3. Type in your comment

It is that easy.


Flippity: Random Name Picker

There are lots of random name generators out there. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. However, in my mind, there is one that surpasses the others. Flippity.net has created their own random name generator. In four easy steps, you can have a great random generator at your finger tips. I will not replicate the process of how to use the tool as they are provided in clear step by step instructions on the Flippity website. Click HERE to follow the instructions.

I absolutely love this tool. With a click of a mouse or a tap on a track pad, you can immediately change a grouping or ordering of your students. This is a great tool for on the fly decisions as well as planned out activities. Below is a demonstration of my own roster of students and how quickly I can have Flippity change my preferences of groups or ordering my students.

Basically, you make a copy of a Google Sheet template that is provided on the Flippity website. You add the names of your students in class, then you publish the sheet to the web to get the link to your random generator. Then the magic happens and you have a useful tool at your finger tips. You will never have to recreate the process explained above as you just keep using the same Google Sheet for your class all year. (You can change the roster in the Google Sheet if need be - as we all know that your initial roster of students changes over the course of the year)

You will want a different Google Sheet for each of your classes. I would even recommend that you create a folder in your Drive, called Name Generator (or something similar), to place all of the Google Sheets that are connected to the Flippity random name picker. You can also bookmark the link to the random name generator for each of your classes as suggested on the website.

Flippity has some great resources. I have written a previous post on using their template to create a Jeopardy Game using Google Sheets. Click HERE to view that post.

If you have any questions on how to use this tool, you know where to find me. Guaranteed you will fall in love with this tool the moment you first use it.


Google Classroom: Return Assignments, Archive Classes & Reuse Posts

Here are some good reminders to Google Classroom, especially at the end of a semester.

Returning Assignments to Students
Since we do not use Google Classroom for reporting out grades to students, we can easily forget to return assignments to students. As a good practice, once assessment has been completed, assignments should be returned to students.

Step 1: Select the assignment you want to return to students

Step 2: Select which students you want to return the assignment to. If you want the assignment to be returned to all students, select the checkbox at the top left. Then select the Return button.

NOTE: If there are only 1 or 2 students you don't want to return the assignment to, select the checkbox at the top left and unselect the few students that should not get the assignment back.

Archiving Classes No Longer In Session
If you no longer need the class because the semester or the year has ended, you can archive the class. This not only will hide the classes you no longer need but it will also save all of the assignments you have pushed out to your students.

Step 1: Make sure assignments have been returned to students that were sent through Google Classroom.

Step 2: From the main classes view (once you first get into Google Classroom) select the three dot button on the top right corner of the class and select Archive.

You will get a message asking you if you are sure you want to archive a class. This class will not be deleted, instead it will show up in the Archive section of Google Classroom.

My class called "Demo class #2" is now located in the Archived Classes section. (Notice that there is a fence like look to the header of the class.)
NOTE: You do have the option to move this class out of the archived section if you had a need for it by clicking on the three dot menu.

You also still have access to the drive documents that were shared in the class by clicking on the Drive Folder icon on the bottom right corner of the class.

Reuse Posts For Future Classes
Don't forget that Google implemented a great feature with being able to reuse posts from previous classes. Don't worry about the date and time of the original assignment you pushed out the previous semester or year, as you are able to customize the new post. But why reinvent the entire assignment if nothing major has changed. Below are the steps to Reuse a post.

Step 1: Open up the class that you want to add a post to. Then click on the plus sign at the bottom right corner and select Reuse post.

Step 2: Then select the class that the original post is located and hit the select button.

Step 3: Locate the actual post you want to reuse. You will notice on the bottom left corner you have the option to have Google Classroom create new copies of the attachments. Then hit the reuse button.

Step 4: Feel free to make any changes you want to make to the assignment post. You can add new attachments, delete original attachments, assign new descriptions, etc.

Of course, if you have any questions with using Google Classroom, don't be afraid to ask!


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.