Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Calendar Integration Comes to Google Classroom!

#GoogleCalendar integrates w/ #GoogleClassroom! | by @EdTechnocation | #GoogleEDU #GAFE

Google Calendar integration has finally arrived for Google Classroom! Back in August, +Google for Education posted about a bunch of new feature updates for Google Classroom, and calendar integration was one of them! Well, it's finally here! Read on to find out how to get started with your students & parents!



You'll receive this notification in Google Classroom
when you receive the new calendar feature.

Setting Up Google Calendar Integration

There are two ways to get a Google Calendar connected to your Google Classroom.


1. From now on, when you create a new Classroom, a Google Calendar will automatically be generated for you, as the teacher, and it will automatically be shared with all of the students in your Classroom roster.

2. If you already have existing Classrooms, all you need to do now is create a new post in the stream (Announcement or Assignments will work). The calendar will automatically be generated for you, as the teacher, and it will automatically be shared with all of the students in your Classroom roster.

Once the calendar has been generated, you and your students will have easy access to it from the About tab.

Easy access to the calendar from the About tab.

View in Classroom will open up the built in calendar in Google Classroom. This is another really nice feature of calendar integration. Teachers and students can access a built in calendar from the side menu. This calendar will include assignments from all classes (and you can filter classes as well).

Check out the new built in calendar in Google Classroom!


Open in Google Calendar will open up the teacher and students' Google Calendar where they can access their class assignments (and other calendars).

The Google Calendar will show all Assignments with due dates.


Give Parents Access

Many teachers are still waiting for parent access to Google Classroom. I'm not sure if it will ever truly have parent access, but this new calendar integration offers an easy way for teachers to share information with families at home.

Find the "Share this Calendar" setting in the menu.

Once your calendar has been generated, go visit calendar.google.com. Look for your Classroom calendar in the list of "My Calendars" on the left of the screen. Next to the name of the calendar is a drop down arrow. Click it to access the "Share this Calendar" option.


In order for parents to access the calendar, you need to "Make this calendar public". Check the two boxes at the top (as seen in the above screenshot). The click the SAVE button at the bottom of the page.


Now you need to give parents a way to access the calendar online. You have two options:

1. You can embed the Google Calendar on your classroom Google Site and then instruct the parents to access your class website. Google Sites has a very easy way to insert a Google Calendar onto a page.
Edit site page > Insert > Calendar

2. You can also give parents the direct URL to the calendar. To do this, click the drop down arrow next to your calendar again. This time choose "Calendar settings".

Find the "Calendar settings" in the menu.

In the settings menu, look for "Calendar Address:" and click the blue "HTML" button. This will give you the direct URL which you can then copy/paste into an email or share with parents.


With either method, you can also instruct the parents to click the "+ Google Calendar" button in the bottom right corner of the calendar. This will allow them to add the calendar to their own list of Google Calendars so they always have easy access to it.



Expand the Use of the Google Calendar

The Google Calendar generated by Google Classroom will only include Assignments that have due dates. However, as the teacher, you can add other events to the Google Calendar, such as upcoming field trips, reminders, project deadlines, etc. Just remember to choose the Classroom calendar when you create the event.

Add other class events to the same Google Calendar!