Google Calendar – Required vs Optional Participants

As you know, when creating a calendar event you can add required guests but did you know that you can define each guest as either being required or optional?
Step 1: Add your guests to an event
Step 2: Click on the silhouette of the person icon next to their name. The figure will turn white to indicate that their participation in this event is optional. You can also use this to keep someone in the loop of a meeting as an FYI.

Google Voice

Have you tried Google Voice yet? About four days ago I finally decided to give Google Voice a try thanks to the advice given by friends via Google+.  I have to admit I think I am in love!!!! This has to be one of the coolest things from Google, well next to the labs, calendar and YouTube.

So, what is Google Voice?
Basically, you get a Google phone number. You can give this number out to anyone you want.  When someone calls that Google phone number the phone call will be forwarded to any phone you want or directly to your voicemail. As a teacher this is awesome because if you have to give out your cell phone number to students and parents for things like overnight trip with your students you can give them your Google number instead of your personal number for emergencies.  You can also assign different greetings to different callers. Your “friends” can get a personal greeting while your parents and students can get a more professional, school appropriate greeting.

NOW, if that is not cool enough, when your missed calls go to voicemail they will go to your Google Voicemail instead. Not only does the person get a personal greeting but the voicemail is sent to your phone as well as your website…. AND that’s not it….  Google will also transcribe your voicemail for you as well and if you want, Google will send that transcribed voicemail to your email and/or to your phone as a text message!!!! (keep in mind that the transcriptions are about 85% correct)

So, how do you get started, go to and log into your Google account.  (I would suggest that before you login to watch the video on the Google Voice homepage.) Something to remember, make sure on the left side of your page you will see something that says “Your Number…” click on that and click on add Google phone number.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more to Google Voice. To learn more you can just YouTube the keywords Google Voice 🙂

How AWESOME is Google!!!!

In my classroom I/We use Google daily and not just to search. It is amazing the things you can do. My students feel empowered to keep and update a calendar with important dates and time for them… including homework 🙂 I actually required that all my students have a Google account. They must update and maintain their calendars and have a professional email address. Of course they love iGoogle because you can play games, read blogs, quick view their calendars, and of course, through Google Chrome, they can play Angry Birds (not at school of course). I love everything that Google has to offer and I hope to one day became a Google Certified Instructor!!!! If you are a teacher and want to learn more about Google Apps and their use in the classroom you can visit:

and to view the Google Docs Slide Show you can go to

Now, how are you using Google in your classroom?