Last year I experimented with shared calendars via iCal. I had always kept my planbook in iCal, and would print out monthly calendars to distribute and/or post to ItsLearning (and outside my room). This worked but was a bit cumbersome (printing in iCal is a few too many steps). With the advent of iCloud, I figured that the shared calendar would work well: I wouldn’t have to print and students cold have their assignments wherever they go. Unfortunately, not enough students had Macs and/or devices to make it worthwhile. This year, however, with the 1:1, all students have Macs, so I’m back to sharing calendars, and it seems to be working well so far.

From iCloud, click on the speaker-type icon next to the calendar. A share window will appear. I use the public calendar; I’m not too worried about the general public seeing or hacking my school calendar. I used the ’email link’ button but this didn’t have great results. Many students received the email but the button wasn’t active (it was for some; it seemed that the Comcast email interface let the button be active, but that others, especially Google, did not). So I copied the link from the window and pasted it into an email. This worked fine. The link downloads a file that the students then open which then puts everything in iCal. I assume, though I have yet to confirm, that as I change the calendar, it will change on their computers.

So with their assignments right there, let’s hope that they can be more assiduous about their work….

Update: I’ve included a screen shot of the share window on iCloud, and you can see how iCal (in the iCloud version here) functions as my planbook (for both school and otherwise).