Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Calendars galore

Even as a teacher interested in ways that technology can help the classroom experience, there is one area that I had been avoiding: calendars. Some teachers make homework assignments available online. I resisted at first, just as I resisted when our school tried to implement a homework hotline that made the information available during after-school hours. My reasoning was that if I tell students verbally and write it on the board, that should be enough. Having the information available at all times gave students an excuse not to pay attention in class.

Which seems a bit silly now, of course.

What changed my mind was that there are always a number of absent students. And now instead of students coming to class and asking, "what did I miss?" I more often have e-mails. After responding to plenty of those over time, I decided there must be a better way. So, for a while I tried to remember to post assignments in a particular spot on Moodle. (Moodle has a calendar feature, but since I don't have different sections separated out, it won't do the job for me). That didn't last too long.

Now, after trying out a couple of personal calendars on Google, I am doing a full-fledged experiment with Google calendars for homework. One for each class. We'll see if I can get into the groove and remember to post, once a week, as I do my plans. I hope it will save time overall, with fewer e-mails to respond to.

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