A great feature popped up in my Google Apps for Educaiton GCal the other day. I was putting in some meetings and noticed an “Appointment Slots” link in the event window.
Not sure how long it’s been out (please somebody tell me it hasn’t been years), but it’s turning out to be a fantastic tool for education.
Basically you can “slot out” chunks of time on your calendar to allow others to make appintments with you on your calendar. Once you active Appintment Slots you get a special URL that only shows the slots in your calendar you want to allow people to make an appintment with you.
I’ve already used it when teachers have e-mailed me asking for a time to meet. Instead of 3 or 4 e-mails back and forth to find a common time, I just send them the link to my Appointmnet Slots and they choose a slot that works for them. Saving us both time and e-mails. Update: Today I added it to my signature so it’s always in front of teachers when I e-mail them.
I could see this being using for elementary conference times. Teacher’s could share their appointment slots with parents and parents could just sign up in a slot that fits their time. No more slips of paper, no more juggling schudules. Simple and straight forward.
When creating your time slots you can adjust the chucks of time you want your appiointments to be. I break my slots up into 30 minute meeting times. If a teacher wants to meet for longer than 30 minutes they just fill out two appintments back to back.
I’m sure there are a million other uses for this new feature in the classroom and schools at large. What ideas do you have?