To Calendar or Not to Calendar....Google Style

I gave up paper calendars very unwillingly. I admit, I liked the pictures, the historical references, the month at a glance, and a family log of all of the activities we had been involved in over the year. I was never a perfect teacher who journals each day, or a mom who tracked all of the happenings of each child. Oh I hit the high points, but by my poor third one, his list was a bit shorter than the rest because I just couldn't keep up! But my calendars were my saviour! They were in a nutshell a written, scribbled, jotted  journey. throughout the year. And then Google arrived in the hands of the geekoid husband.

He didn't push, he didn't shove, he just quietly created a calendar in vivid color with individual calendars all merged into one for the kids and all of their activities. He still respectfully called me to check the paper calendar for events, and then slowly turned me around when life became chaotic with the scout events, school activities, business meetings, and the like. Cross referencing kid activities was like swimming through a sea of paper at Christmas until I signed in and played, and documented, and archived, and played, and shared.

The next step? Discussion #2 with the geek trio at school. At the same time I was being turned around-- the wonderful librarian who is the other half of this blog, and our cohort in crime in the tech lab, set up the school computer checkout calendar in Google and merged it with the master calendar of the school to provide a center of ease for checking out and using school resources. Does it work? Yep...with a little training even the most timid staff member will give it a try now and then and most use it regularly.

Hmmm... then it comes right back home to the next generation this week. After an hour of trying to coordinate 3 households for pictures for Christmas in different towns the next family Google calendar is born to manage major events for a clan.  The kids never realize how hard it is to coordinate retired traveling parents, multiple schedules for two young to middle age families,  and major events until you try to negotiate One. Simple. Family. Picture. Google to the rescue again. What started out as an offhand comment from the brother-in-law turned into 12 minutes and 14 seconds of calendar creation, a family message, and several log-ins. Now to see if it works! One grandparent shot in like flash, a sister-in-law commented she thinks we should have done this a long time ago, and a wistful geek who set it up and wonders what the next technology invention will do to change communication in the family.

I still miss the paper log and the pictures. For now I will print out the Google calendar. Although it will never quite be the same, it does ensure that less schedule goof ups means more time for learning and family in this household and work environment.

Take a look at this nice reference about the good, bad, and ugly of Google Calendar...in our case it is mostly good. Decide for yourself...



Here I am...sitting on a bench staring at one of the very first computers at the National American History Museum in Washington, DC and I am playing on my iPad. It almost feels like the right place to be digging around in a list of mobile technology apps. I have spent the last two days at the National Council for Social Studies conference presenting and learning from others. I love working at a conference...it gives me the opportunity to share and collaborate with other great educators. And I come back rejuvenated and energized with great ideas. That sure happened today, and while I sit and rest my feet and enjoy a quiet space to write, I thought I would share a great app site!

APPitic is a website supported by Apple educators and is an amazing find!Here in one spot is a categorized list of educational applications for students and teachers. Listed by theme, subject, purpose, and pedagogy the site offers a wealth of information and resources at your fingertips. But the best part? The apps are also listed by blooms technology strands and Multiple Intelligence's categories. Now that is brilliant!

Wow! Something to play with and explore...and drop into the classroom. Great move Apple! Nailed it.