A tool that helps me schedule more time with my students? I’ll take it!
I’ve talked before about being very picky about the tools I introduce in my classroom. They have to be really exceptional to get incorporated into my daily work habits. This spring a colleague shared one that’s amazing and I wanted to share it with you.
One of the huge challenges of being an online teacher is helping students to know that you’re a real person also, with a real work schedule (not 24/7, unlike the course content). While most problems can be solved via digital communications or my online course content, sometimes a student needs more. They need structured ways to get personalized help at a time that works for them and for me. One of the most amazing tools I’ve found for helping to schedule my f2f and phone time with students is called YouCanBook.Me. It’s a free online tool that creates an interactive booking page for anyone to book an appointment with you. The video below shows all their services:
While the tool wasn’t specifically created with teaching in mind, it adapts beautifully to this environment. I simply set the times when I’m available to meet with students f2f or on the phone (usually about 5 hours per day) and set those times as “available” on YouCanBook.Me. Then a student can use the tool to book an appointment with me at a time that works for both of us. Since the tool can be embedded, I put it right onto a page in Schoology so it’s front and center as a part of the course content. When a student books an appointment, I get an email and the appointment gets added to my Google Calendar. (Genius, I tell you!) In fact, don’t tell Google, but this tool has stolen my affections away from Google Calendar Slots.
Next step? I want to share the tool with parents to that they too can have real-time access to set up appointments. What a wonderful way to structure parent-teacher conferences!
The real goal? Modeling professional communications with students and increasing their access to the help they need. Let me know if you try it out! I’d love to hear your experiences.