ACTUAL POSSIBILITIES OF USING GOOGLE CALENDAR AT HIGHER EDUCATION: AN OVERVIEW AND SOME EXAMPLES
University of Zaragoza (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2020
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:As part of Google Suite for Education, the Google Calendar application has been in existence for some years, with the main goal of any user to set up a calendar for the organization of his agenda. As a common user, the teacher of any educational level has been able to use the application for years to configure their meetings, activate notices or manage his agenda, in addition to a few more utilities, such as integration with other Google applications. Over the time, the applications included in the current G Suite have been improving and incorporating many tools and possibilities, and Google Calendar is no exception. University of Zaragoza has, for both professors and students, an institutional G Suite account that has, among other advantages, unlimited individual storage. Its use is, therefore, very interesting for teachers. In this work we have evaluated the utilities that Google Calendar has for teaching in general, and have included several practical examples of use in university teaching are given. Among the possibilities showed by the tool is, for example, the management of tutorials with students. When meetings with many groups or with many students have to be held, the task of organizing the tutorials can be arduous and result in excessive waste of time. With Google Calendar, students can select their appointment in the gaps that the teacher has previously delimited for it. Teachers can also organize the assessment tests of an entire course. Through the using of shared calendars, they can plan the exams, tests and works that students will have, to avoid coincidences and leave specific temporary spaces between them.
An also interesting option is to be able to attach files to an event, making it easy to quickly reaching the necessary information for, for example, a meeting with students. There is also the option to add links to documents stored in the cloud (through Google Drive). In fact, the integration of Calendar with the other Google applications is excellent. For example, with the use of Google Classroom, a learning management platform (LMS) such as Moodle, the teacher can send a specific task to students for a specific date. This date can be automatically included into the shared calendar of the class that Google Classroom will have created previously also automatically and, therefore, students will be able to see it instantly.
In addition, if the teacher wants to have clearly separated, on the one hand, his agenda and calendars managed by Google Calendar from, on the other hand, his own and different appointment/reservation management system for meetings with students, he always has the possibility of use other tools, such as youcanbook.me or simplybook.me. The advantage of the joint use of both systems is that they maintain a perfect synchronization between them, so that any reservation in one of those applications (Google Calendar and, for example, simplybook.me) will immediately appear in the corresponding calendar of the other.
These examples of use and others demonstrate the great utility of the Google Calendar tool, which makes it a very interesting option for the daily management of lecturers and professors in higher education. It is relevant to point out that the application is completely free.
Keywords: Google Calendar, G Suite, ICT, Flipped Classroom.