Tag Archives: Outlook

Import Your Schoology Calendar Into Google, Outlook, or iCal

Schoology is a powerful Learning Management System (LMS) used by teachers to help organize their materials and lessons online, communicate with students and their parents, and distribute and collect homework electronically. A very basic feature of Schoology that is extremely helpful for students, especially high school students, is the calendar. Keeping track of eight classes’ worth of homework, the lacrosse team’s 17-game schedule, and school events like dances, plays, and awards’ nights could be overwhelming if it weren’t for the fact that students can see only the events that pertain to them, and they can all be found in the Schoology calendar.

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Schoology Upcoming Calendar

 

One way to make the calendar more useful for students and parents is to import that Schoology calendar into a calendar system you already use like Google Calendar, Outlook, or iCal. Why? If you keep another calendar system for personal or work-related reasons, then adding your Schoology events and due dates to that same calendar lets you keep all of your appointments in one place. It also gives you access to your Schoology due dates on your computer, phone, and iPad – any place you already use Google Calendar (or Outlook or iCal). You also have the ability to share your Schoology Calendar with others, which means parents can add their child’s Schoology calendar to their own phones. This is a great feature when a student is heavily involved in clubs or sports.

Adding your Schoology calendar to Google Calendar

The directions below describe how to connect a student’s Schoology calendar to their Google Calendar. (These steps will work with Outlook and iCal, too, but they might differ slightly.)

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Account Settings in Schoology

First, go to the Account Settings inside Schoology. You can find that in the top-right of the screen next to your name. In this example I am using a fake student account named Baby Bill Bixby.

Second, scroll down to “Share Your Schoology Calendar” and click on “Enable”.

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Enable sharing of your Schoology calendar

 

 

Third, copy the entire URL that appears after “Use this iCal link”.

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The calendar feed for a Schoology calendar can be imported into Google Calendar, Outlook, and iCal

 

Fourth, go to Google.com and sign into your Google Calendar. All of your calendars are listed at the bottom-left side of the screen. Click on the small arrow next to “Other calendars” and choose “Add by URL”.

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Add an existing calendar (like your Schoology calendar) into Google Calendar by clicking on “Add by URL”

 

Fifth, paste the URL you copied from Schoology (step three) into the “URL” box, then click on “Add Calendar”.

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Paste the URL of another calendar into Google Calendar

 

That’s it! Your Schoology calendar will now appear within your Google Calendar. You will be able to see the most important information: title, day, and time for all of your due dates, homework, games, practices, ACT Prep days, and other events entered into Schoology by you or your teachers. If you want to see the finer details, like the handouts attached to your homework, then you’ll still need to go to Schoology to see them. The basic overview is extremely helpful, though, especially when you’re just keeping track of what’s due over the next day or two.

 

Signing into the Outlook iPad app for the first time

The iPad-version of Outlook is a superior experience when it comes to your mail and calendar needs. It has a clean look, it is very efficient and easy to use, and its integration with Office 365, Google Drive, and Dropbox makes it unbeatable. If you want to read more about the features of the Outlook app, read the article titled, “Outlook: The Best Mail App On the iPad.”

Installing Outlook on your iPad and signing into it using your existing email account is very simple. The Outlook app will work with Google, Yahoo, iCloud, and of course your current Outlook-based school or work email which is often called Exchange.  Start by installing the app on your iPad or iPhone, then open the app.

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The next step is to choose your current email provider. IMG_0077One thing to keep in mind is if you use Outlook at school or work then you will choose “Exchange” which is Microsoft’s business-class communication software. If you have a @Hotmail.com or @Live.com email account, you will choose “Outlook.com” which is Microsoft’s brand name for personal email.  These directions will show you how to set up an Exchange email account, which is what we use in the school district where I work.

After selecting Exchange (again, we use Outlook on our school computers but it is called Exchange for this app) you will be asked to enter your email address, email password, and a description (name) for your email account that only you will see. The description is useful if you add multiple email accounts to Outlook so that you can view all your mail in one place. In the example below I named my email account FHS Mail because I work at Fremd High School. IMG_0078

Sometimes your school or work’s email server has some unique security settings that require you to add a little more information before your mail actually works. If you tried to enter your email address and password but it did not work, click on Show Advanced Settings and fill in the remaining fields. You might need to contact your tech support people to find out what goes in each box. For Fremd teachers, you would enter “owa.d211.org” for the server name, “d211” for the domain name, and your school username (like you were signing into a computer) for the username. Then click OK.

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Advanced settings for signing into Exchange which is the server used to run Outlook for our school email.

The last step is to tap OK to accept notifications whenever an email arrives or a meeting is about to begin. IMG_0080

Now that Outlook is set up on your iPad, don’t forget to drag the icon onto the Dock in the bottom of the home screen so you can quickly access your email and calendar at any time.

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The iPad Dock holds five apps to give you quick access to the apps you use the most.

 

Outlook: the best mail app on the iPad

IMG_0076Whether you use Google, Yahoo, iCloud or Outlook for your email, there is one iPad mail app that stands taller than all the others: Outlook. Its integration of mail, calendar, contacts, and file storage in one single app will help you be more productive and efficient. Who wants to spend MORE time responding to email? No one.

What makes the free Outlook app different than Apple’s built-in Mail app? For one, your email and calendar are integrated into one app. You can switch back and forth between your mail and your calendar by choosing Mail or Calendar at the bottom of the screen. This  might not seem like much, but when someone emails you to ask if you are free on a given day and time you can switch back and forth with one tap instead of leaving Apple’s Mail app, going back to the iPad home screen, tapping on the Calendar app to see your availability, then closing the Calendar app, going back to the home screen, and then opening your Mail again. One click is faster than four or five or six.

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Because your mail and calendar are contained in one app you also save space in the iPad Dock, which are the five main apps you always use. You can only choose five, so being able to use up one space with Outlook instead of two spaces with Apple’s Mail AND Calendar is quite useful.

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The iPad Dock only holds five apps. My five are Outlook (mail and calendar), Chrome (Internet browser), Schoology (LMS), Drive (document storage), and Settings (iPad).
Outlook integrates with online document storage: Office 365, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box

Second, Outlook integrates your online documents with your mail.  You can send a document saved to Office  365, Google Drive, or Dropbox account from within the Outlook app. When someone emails you to ask for a file, you can find it and email it without leaving Outlook. Again, fewer clicks, less time, and fewer mistakes. Document integration is by far the best feature of Outlook.

Third, your entire contact list is easily searchable. It combines the contacts you have added yourself with your entire school district or company’s global address list which is the list of every person you work with.

Fourth, and this is for people who use Outlook for their work email already, is that the email on your iPad now looks the same as it does on your computer.  Email looks clean and is easily sortable, conversations can be grouped into threads, and the button layout is pretty much the same whether you use the app,  the online version of Outlook (OWA), or the desktop version of Outlook 2013. The Outlook app is simply easy to use, especially for people who use it daily.IMG_0086

For directions on how to add your email account to Outlook on the iPad, read the article titled, “Signing Into the Outlook iPad App For the First Time.”

(I use Pixlr.com to do quick image editing including smudging out names and adding text. It’s free.)