Preston Becker - Google

By Preston Becker (Dr.Becker@dtcc.edu)
English Department
Delaware Technical Community College
Wilmington Campus

Everybody knows that google calendar is great because it allows users to share events or even whole schedules with people they choose. However, you may not know that everyone with a Delaware Tech email address also has a google calendar automatically created for them. This means that google calendar is a great way to share events with people at the college.

But what about using google calendar for your classes? You can actually embed a google calendar in your blackboard course, and there are a couple of reasons why this is a good idea.

Familiarity

The first reason is familiarity. I have found that most students have smartphones, and most of those students also have Gmail accounts. If they’re on Gmail, then they already have a google calendar and they’re likely familiar with using it on their phone.

Ease of access

The second reason is the ease of access. The extra couple of minutes it takes to log in to Blackboard and go to the assignment calendar can seem like an eternity to a busy student. If your course calendar is hosted on google, students can access it without having to log into Blackboard. Any appointment in the calendar can be copied into a student’s calendar with a click or two. Also, you can access the calendar from your smartphone. Getting the assignments directly onto the student’s device is a big plus. This also makes iPhone tricks possible, such as the one I demonstrate in this 1-minute video:

Convinced?

I hope so. Setting up a google calendar and embedding it your blackboard only takes about two minutes. Here are the steps.

  1. Make a calendar
  2. Make it public
  3. Copy the link to the calendar
  4. Paste that link into your blackboard page

Here’s a two and a half minute video of me doing it:

You can actually choose if you want to display a whole month or a week at a time. I found displaying a week at a time was best.

Making the most of google calendar

I found that the calendar was so great for displaying assignments that I also wanted to be able to include attachments like Word Docs and PowerPoints. This is easy enough to do using google drive, which everyone with a Delaware Tech email address also has. I will show you how to do this in my next post.

    2 comments

  1. aldrushler4 years ago

    This is great! I plan to make a Google calendar for each class I teach, share the link with the class and update the calendar with the weekly assignments. Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Ish Stabosz4 years ago

      When I first heard about instructors using Google Drive for classroom calendars, my initial reaction was “Yea, that’s cool, but think of all the added time it would take to update every single calendar”. When I thought about it, though, I realized that we already update every single Blackboard course whenever we post a new assignment. If we just used Google calendar for assignment instructions, we wouldn’t need to copy items in Blackboard five million times anymore, and Google runs much more quickly than Blackboard for these purposes. You can edit all of your events from one screen rather than having to jump from course to course..

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