iCal & the 8th Grader

One of the first significant differences the iPad has made in the school life of an 8th grader is in learning organization and time management skills using the iCal app in place of a paper agenda book.

Just think... No longer are there torn or missing pages from the agenda.  No longer is their agenda misplaced or found crumbled and shoved into a backpack. In fact, with the combination of syncing Google Cal with iCal, the star cluster teachers make it pretty hard for students NOT to know about assignments and their due dates. The star cluster teachers actually created a shared calendar with every single 8th grader.  Now, the teachers can post long term assignments, field trips, reminders and much more on all calendars with a tap of a sync button. They can also be mindful in planning around each others testing dates and big project deadlines too.

Believe me, this doesn't let the students off the hook for maintaining their own calendars. The responsibility still remains theirs for adding daily homework events and any other important information. The school also encourages families to set up their own shared calendar for after school sports, family events, and their scheduling needs.

Leave it up to students to figure out additional ways to make the calendar their 'own". One of the teachers discovered that some students were 'checking off' finished assignments with hearts!  (Click on the above screenshot of an actual 8th grade iCal to biggify.)  This student was using the Emoji keyboard to type in the HEARTS! Clever!

Other students take advantage of the camera app to snap a photo of the assignments written on the board to then later add to their iCal.  This is particularly helpful as an accomodation for students who struggle with writing or have motor skill deficits to keep up with the pace of the class.  Multiple calendars can also be created and color coded to easily distinguish between them. Events can have alerts and visual reminders set up for deadlines. These simple features are really beneficial to all users!

More information on iCal tips and tricks, try the following resources:
Keyboard Fun in a Nutshell
Syncing Google Cal with iCal
Setting up the Emoji Keyboard on your iPad
5 Superb iCal Tips to increase your Productivity
Video Tutorials of a variety of iCal tricks
iPad Basics for Everyday Tasks

If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment.



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