Using Google Calendar to Help Students Minimize Stress and Meet Deadlines

Our adult ESL students (and yes, teachers, too) have such busy lives that between managing classes, full-time jobs, and family responsibilities, they rarely take a moment to schedule study time or any other personal time on our college campuses.  Finding a way to fit in some of these activities not only helps the students achieve more academically, it also helps them find time for enjoyment and enrichment with their friends on campus without feeling guilty or that they’re stealing moments away from their families.  It’s all scheduled!

Google Calendar is a great site to help our students manage all that and more.  This semester my students will be using it to keep track of their assignment due dates, the smaller tasks they need to finish to complete their assignments, and their study dates in conjunction with their outside-of-school responsibilities.  They’ll learn how to schedule and prioritize tasks, crossing them off their list as they finish them up.  (What a great feeling that is!) They’ll also be using their calendar to make appointments with me throughout the  semester.  By scheduling their appointments with me through their Google Calendars, they’ll be able to view their scheduled personal activities to be sure that the appointments don’t conflict with other commitments they’ve already scheduled, and the appointment then gets scheduled automatically on their calendar.  On my end, their appointments show up on my calendar only at times I have set aside for these appointments, and I am able to see on my calendar who is scheduled to come in and at what time.

Google Calendar can also be set up to send out a daily email with the day’s agenda on it so there is no excuse for missing an assignment due date or forgetting an appointment.  It syncs automatically with the Google Calendar on smart phones as well.  Additionally, Google Calendar links easily to my Blackboard course menu so it’s easily accessible for all of us–almost like having a personal secretary!  What a great tool!

Teaching our students (and faculty) to take advantage of free online tools to organize their lives and plan ahead for important activities helps minimize the stress in their already hectic lives and keep them on the path to success both personally, professionally, and academically.  For those of you who might be interested in using Google Calendar with your students, here are some tutorials that may be helpful to you in getting started:

Google Calendar Essential Training

How to Use Google Calendar Appointment Slots

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