Calendar Sync for Edtech: What You Need to Know
Author: Kristina Proffitt
16th November 2017
Every academic institute wants to give their students a head start. One of the best ways they can do that is by attracting the best teachers in their chosen field. Embracing the latest technology ensures that institutions can do just that. Utilizing the latest technology also attracts more students and gives them a greater chance of success both in their studies and in their future careers.
Calendar sync is an up-and-coming feature that is quickly becoming a must-have in many software industries. Not only does it speed up booking flows and prevent long email chains, but it can also work with chatbots and AI to automate repetitive tasks.
That’s not all it can do, though. Here are seven ways that calendar sync can benefit the education sector.
Update timetables in real-time
Schools and colleges can be unpredictable. If a teacher calls in sick, or a room with a particular type of equipment is needed, there needs to be a way to notify students of changes.
The fastest way to do this is via their calendar.
Notifications can be set up to inform students of where they need to be next, or to inform them of changes to the schedule. That way, they have everything they need to know in one place.
Calendar sync is just as useful for teachers. Should they need to cover for a colleague, or organize a meeting, they can see, in real-time, what their availability is.
Save time booking substitute teachers
Booking last-minute substitute teachers is a time-consuming process. Agencies need to ring around to find out if a relevant teacher is free, and if they don’t pick up, time can be wasted and it could mean students left without a teacher.
When substitute teachers’ calendars are synced to an agencies’ booking software, agencies have instant access to their schedules. This means that not only do teachers avoid double-booking themselves because they’ve forgotten about an appointment, but agencies don’t waste time calling someone only to discover that they’re unavailable. Instead, they can focus their time on contacting people who are free and even book them into a particular school from the software itself. Teachers can then get a notification in their calendar to inform them of the last-minute cover.
Hire teachers faster
Calendar sync helps recruiters to connect teachers with the right school faster. Real-Time Scheduling allows applicant tracking systems to generate a link that can be sent to candidates for them to book their own interview. If there are any times when an interview panelist is unavailable, Real-Time Scheduling takes this into account by only offering times when every member of the interview panel – and even a meeting room, if required – are free. This saves the interview panel from needing to block out a whole week for interviews or having to work them around their schedules.
Calendar sync can also benefit schools once a new hire has been chosen. Details of their first day such as what time they need to be there, whom they need to ask for, or even where they need to park can all be added to a calendar event.
Effortlessly reserve resources
Schools have a long list of resources that teachers can use to assist in their classes. When these resources don’t have a schedule of their own, it’s impossible to know if and when they’re available. This can mean that a teacher’s plan to use a particular piece of equipment could go to waste if someone else is already using it.
If the resource’s calendar is synced to a booking software, they don’t need to worry about this. Teachers can see what equipment is available and when, and reserve it for the class they want to use it for. There’s no risk of equipment being booked out for two classes at the same time. This allows them to organize their lesson plans accordingly and not have to make any last-minute changes because equipment is double-booked. Should equipment go missing, its path can be easily traced.
Schedule parent/teacher meetings faster
Parent-teacher meetings are an important part of helping children to learn and grow. Organizing them around teachers’ busy schedules and parents’ full-time jobs can be difficult, though.
When a teacher’s schedule is calendar synced, parents can book meetings with a teacher or principal using a program such as a chatbot. This saves both parties a long phone call trying to find a time to meet, and means that the meeting is automatically added to the teacher’s schedule. Our Smart Invites feature also means that parents can add the appointment to their calendar without giving software access to their private calendar details. The Smart Invite can be updated with information such as room numbers or whom to ask for on arrival, and if the time needs to be changed, the Smart Invite can be updated to reflect this.
Everyone saves time, and everyone knows where they need to be and when.
Connect students and mentors
Calendar sync can be used to connect more than just parents and teachers. It’s important for students to be confident in the business world, and pairing up with a mentor can really help with that. That’s why PeopleGrove uses real-time calendar sync to connect students with mentors. Students can see the availability of the mentor they’d like to meet, and book a meeting with them from the software. This is then added to both their calendars. The mentor receives a notification informing them of the new meeting, preventing them from double-booking themselves. Once a meeting has been booked, it’s removed from the list of potential time slots, ensuring that two students don’t book the same time slot.
Bridge the gap between students and future employers
Handshake uses calendar sync to connect students with prospective employers. This gives the universities a competitive advantage because they have better links with employers, and gives students a competitive advantage because they can start to build relationships with employers sooner.
They use calendar sync to aid students in booking meetings with potential employers. This makes searching for vacancies and internships easier. Students can book meetings easily and with the confidence that meetings won’t conflict with classes or other commitments.
Calendar sync can also be used to set up internships and help students to better manage internships or jobs around their education.
Find out more
Date: 16th November 2017 | Category: Edtech