Sunday, October 15, 2017

Google Classroom and Google Calendar

Today we're going to tackle questions about Google Classroom and Google Calendar. There's often confusion about the calendar generated by classroom works. Updated 8/15/2018 to reflect the new changes in Google Classroom. 

First, it's important to know that Google Classroom automatically creates a calendar for each classroom you create. You can view the calendar in Google Classroom or open it in Google Calendar. To view the calendar in Classroom, click the three lines in the upper right and click "calendar". You can choose to view all classes at once or filter by class.

To open the calendar in Google Calendar, you can click the calendar icon at the top of the classwork page.

What can I see when I click view the calendar in Google Classroom?
Here you (and students) will see a weekly view of the calendar for that Classroom. The only "events" that are visible when viewing the calendar within Classroom are assignments that are added to the stream with a due date. Nothing added to the calendar from Google Calendar will be visible when viewing the calendar in Google Classroom.

What can I see when I click the calendar icon on the Classwork tab ?
This opens the calendar for that classroom in Google Calendar. When viewing in Google Calendar, you will be able to add additional events (not associated with assignments) such as field trips, test days, quizzes, etc. To see items that you add, students will also need to click "Google Calendar" on the about tab in Google Classroom.

Will students see my personal calendar when they click the calendar icon on the Classwork tab?
No, students will not see your calendar. They will see the class calendar and their own calendar, along with any other calendars they're subscribed to or sharing. You see your calendar when clicking this link because it is yours.

Why are classroom assignments being added to my personal calendar?
They're not actually being added to your personal calendar, they're just being added to the class calendar. If you no longer wish to see these items when viewing Google Calendar, all you need to do is hide the calendar.

To hide the Classroom calendar from your view in Google Calendar, find "my calendars" in the left sidebar. Locate the calendar in question, and click it so that the box next to it is not colored. Items on this calendar will no longer be visible when viewing your calendar. Any calendar with a colored box next to it will be visible.

I hope that this helps clear up some of your confusion around Google Calendar and Google Classroom!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Google Innovator Academy #SWE17

Since last Saturday (30 September), I have been in Stockholm, Sweden. Right now, as I write this, I sit in the London airport, on the last leg of my journey, still trying to absorb all I have done and learned over the past week. The reason for this trip is do something I've been wanting to do for a long time- attend a Google Innovator Academy. I arrived in Stockholm a little early so I could do some sightseeing before the academy.

Before the Academy
Google did an excellent job of building community among our cohort before we even arrived. You can meet all the folks in my cohort and see their projects here. We'd been chatting together for nearly a month on our cohort's Google hangout, so when everyone began to arrive Tuesday night, several of us met for dinner at a restaurant called the Hairy Pig.

The next morning, before we went to Google to begin our big adventure, most of the cohort also met at a local cafe for Fika.

I felt like I already knew many of these folks before we ever met, but the few days that we spent at the academy only strengthened those bonds. I know these folks 100% have my back with getting my project off the ground, and I have their backs too. It's unbelievable how much I miss these folks right now! #SWE17 forever!

My Cohort
We were told that our cohort is the most diverse cohort of the Google Innovator program to date. 37 of us represented 19 different countries. What an amazing, passionate, and talented group of educators!
Such an amazing group of folks!

Jazz Hands!

The Adventure Begins
Finally, around 3pm Stockholm time on Wednesday, the real adventure began when we entered the Google building for the first time.

As we arrived, they greeted us and gave us the badges we'd need to move about the building while we're here.

One of the first activities they had us do after arrival was work together to do a BreakoutEdu activity. The team I was on broke out with 1:44 seconds remaining on the clock. Whew!

Later, they split us up into smaller teams and assigned each team a coach to support us as we worked through the innovation process during the academy. We were to choose a team name, a team cheer and a team song. Our team chose the name "Frozen Hairy Pigs" because several of us went to the ice bar as well as a restaurant called Hairy Pig earlier in the week. Here's my amazing team, with our coach, Thomas.

From left to right: Laurah J., Matt, Emma, Thomas, Carsten, Stanislava, Mark

Working Hard
Throughout the week we worked hard to hone our projects, working through the design-thinking process step-by-step so that we would be ready to take the first steps to iteration when we returned.

Working with my fist-bump buddy, Nadjib
Getting feedback on our projects from our cohort colleagues
Learning the design process with my high-five buddy Isabel

Playing Hard
We also had lots of fun together with our cohort- both at Google and in the evenings. Also, Google fed us amazingly well (I think I got spoiled)!

Manuel and Mel during Partner Yoga

Innovator cupcakes!

Quin and Mark watch the magician one night during dinner

An amazing Googley breakfast!

Photobomb by Mason

An after-academy visit to the Ice Bar

My Project
My project is The #ELLEdTech project, and is all about partnering with businesses and the community to put technology in the hands of our ELLs and ESOL teachers, providing training for ESOL teachers on how to use educational technology to support language growth, and working toward changing the existing culture in schools surrounding ELLs, ESOL teachers and ESOL education. Though my project has pivoted a bit since inception, you can see my original project video below that was submitted as part of my application.

After a week of powerful learning, community building, and the most fun I've ever had during professional development, we graduated and officially became Google Innovators. 

This is going in a frame!

Celebrating after graduation!

If you've been considering applying for the Google Innovator program, I highly recommend it. I would say it was, without a doubt, one of the best experiences of my life. As sad as I am to leave (I miss my cohort buddies already!), I can't wait to dive into my project and start working to make it a reality. I'll keep you up-to-date on my project over the next year (and beyond), so stay tuned!