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Put Your School's Calendar Online!

Technology in the Classroom CenterWeb-based calendars help with assignment organization, project due dates, and scheduling. They can even remind you when a scheduled event is about to happen! If you are frustrated with updating paper calendars constantly, then perhaps a Web-based calendar is right for you. Included: Links to the best calendar-creation software and Web sites!

Do you continually copy and distribute calendars, hoping they make it home with your students? As soon as you update a calendar and send it home, does something come along that you need to add to or change on the calendar? Do you lose track of meetings and find yourself scheduling two or three appointments at the same time? If you are frustrated with constantly updating paper calendars, then perhaps a Web-based calendar is right for you!

Sites for Creating Web-Based Calendars

Are you ready to create a Web-based calendar? Click here to go to our list of online calendar resources.
Web-based calendars are calendars that can be created online, posted to a Web page, and easily updated when necessary. They help with organizing assignments, tracking project due dates, and scheduling. If you have too many appointments to keep straight, many Web-based calendars will even remind you when a scheduled event is about to happen -- either with an online pop-up message or an automatic e-mail!

HOW DO I GET ONE?

You can create and post a Web-based calendar either on your own school site or on a remote, password-protected site that is accessible only to your school community.

A number of easy-to-use, downloadable programs allow you to create a calendar on your school Web site. One example of such a calendar can be found at Meridian Middle School in Lynden, Washington. Meridian's online calendar, an integral part of their Web site, lists all school events, allowing parents and students to quickly check events for the month or for the whole school year.

"We use a program called HTML Calendar Maker Pro to create our calendars," Meridian teacher Keith Mack told Education World. "It's very easy to use and makes very functional calendars. We also want the calendars to be printer-friendly, so we take care that they will print on one page and look good with basic black ink."

Many Web sites allow you to create customized calendars that rest on their site instead of on your school site. John Adsit, of the Jefferson County Schools in Golden, Colorado, uses the Netscape WebCalendar to create his calendars. "I can access a calendar from any computer that has Web access," Adsit told Education World. "If I am in an Internet caf in Tokyo, I can check my calendar. It will even send a message to remind me that a meeting time is approaching."

Of course, you don't have to use commercial calendar-creation software or Web sites. If you are ambitious, you can create your own calendar! Ed Hitchcock, the director of science at Bayview Glen School in Ontario, Canada, created his own customized calendar because he couldn't find one with all the features he wanted.

"I use it mainly to communicate to students and parents about what was done in class on a given day and to leave reminders about upcoming due dates and quizzes," Hitchcock told Education World. "I can also post course notes if there is a day when students do not finish copying everything down."

NOT COMPLICATED AT ALL!

This may sound too complicated, but it really isn't. If you choose to create a calendar at your school site, all the programs include instructions that tell you how to add the information you want and how to post that information to the Web. If you choose to use a calendar-creation Web site, you simply insert your information, and it shows up "magically" on the Web!

If you choose to create your own calendar, Building a Web-Based Event Calendar is an excellent resource.

Not everyone will find exactly what he or she is looking for in available calendar programs. "Unfortunately, I have yet to find anything that works well for our particular application," said Anne C. Oelke, computer coordinator for the Cambria-Friesland School District in Cambria, Wisconsin. "We have the monthly school lunch listing and the monthly school events listing in a calendar form on our Web site." But Oelke had hoped to find an easy-to-use program that would allow her to include the calendars in the school newsletter. So far, she's been unsuccessful.

Despite their limitations, Web-based calendars are a quick way to share information with your class, other teachers, parents, and the entire school or school district. No wonder so many schools are turning to Web-based calendars to facilitate communication!

WHAT'S THE DOWNSIDE?

There are a few things you should know if you decide to use a Web site service to create your calendar:

  • Some services are not very secure. Look for one that uses a secure server that you, your students, and students' families have to log onto to use. This is important if you want to post private data.
  • Most off-site servers also require users to look at ads while creating and using the calendars. Because most of those sites are free, they depend on ads to make money. If you don't want your students to see ads, then you should probably use calendar-creation software instead of a Web site service.
  • Many of the Web sites also require you to register and provide personal information. If you don't like giving out such information, you may not want to use one of the online versions of these calendars.

MAKE YOUR DAY!

Web-based calendars are not for everyone. But they're popping up everywhere, in many forms, all around the Internet. Even if you don't know much about computers and software, you can find easy-to-use programs or Web sites that will fill most of your needs. So, go ahead, make your life -- and your students' lives -- a little easier. Get busy and create your own Web-based calendar today!

You'll wonder how you ever got along without one.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES ABOUT WEB-BASED CALENDARS

  • Put Time on Your Side This site provides a discussion of Web-based calendars and why they've gained so much popularity in the last few years.
  • Great Hill Corporation This company provides software called Calendars for the Web. The program enables users to create a wide variety of printable calendars that look pleasing on the computer. The program can also create to-do lists and include other files. Prices start at $49.99. Schools may receive discounts.

Sites for Creating Web-Based Calendars

* AnyDay.com AnyDay is one of the most successful online calendar creators. You can set up a calendar and receive e-mail notification when projects are due. You can also publish the calendar to the Web so your students can get their assignments online. All the services are free.
* Calendars Net This free service allows you to create printable calendars that can be accessed by anyone you choose -- or by everyone. If you don't want ads on your calendars, a small fee keeps ads off your calendar page. If you choose, you can also download the file and edit offline.
* Daily Web Planner This site is more than just a free calendar creator, it's a Web portal for planning and organizing. You also get a free e-mail account, Web bookmarks, and free e-cards.
* Day-Timer Digital Do you use a Day-Timer for your personal organization? If so, this site is for you. You can create private and public calendars here, and print them out in the same format as your Day-Timer pages, all for free.
* Easy Diary Easy Diary is one of the nicest looking calendars and is very easy to use and update. Though this application can be a little slow to run, it is free.
* MyEvents This free calendar is geared to business, but it works well for schools too. It also includes a photo manager, so you can upload photos for everyone to see.
* nschool.com A free service for schools, nschool.com offers a whole suite of products, including an online calendar. The easy-to-use site provides secure, private access to schools, teachers, students, and parents.
* SmartCal SmartCal is a free calendar service that allows group access. Users can customize a calendar with a school logo or color scheme.
* Visto.com Visto is a free site where you can create calendars that are totally accessible from anywhere you can access the Internet. You can also create groups to share photos, music, and more.
* When.com When.com is an easy-to-use calendar creator that includes a wide variety of local and national events for you to include on your calendar. Calendars are also accessible by groups.


 

Sherril Steele-Carlin
Education World®
Copyright © 2000 Education World

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