Doodle: My great timesaver in scheduling & coordinating

As someone who supports students, teachers and schools in my school board it requires me to try to arrange meetings with different stakeholders where I need to either coordinate a common meeting time or set up a series of individual meetings within a specified period of time. I have always found this to be incredibly time consuming as it requires a barrage of exchanging emails, phone calls, text messages, etc. I have always accepted this as an unavoidable task in order to coordinate my day.  That was until Doodle entered the picture…

Simple, straightforward and if you are in a rush, no account required!
Set up is simple and easy – allowing you to quickly get a Doodle up and running.

Doodle is an online and interactive scheduler that allows you poll participants in order to find common meeting times or arrange a series of meetings. You can create a free account or start a simple Doodle without any account at all. The paid subscription to Doodle offers more tools and functionality such as tracking, collecting participant info and setting up reminders.  For my use, the free account has been more than adequate as it allows me to invite participants via email or by directing them to a link.  As the administrator, I can then view the results and determine meeting times based upon participant feedback.

Even with the free account you do have some useful options available to you.  Aside from determining dates and times that you would like others to consider for possible meeting times, you can also adjust settings so that busy participants can indicate an “if need be” response as well as limit the number of selections a participant can make on your Doodle.  Another handy setting was the ability to set the number of eligible spots/openings available per proposed meeting time.  This allowed me to open up a variety of dates and times that I would be available to meet with schools and teachers where they could then select and occupy a time slot that would then no longer be available to others. This little feature literally saved me numerous back and forth emails of updating participants on remaining available dates and times.

Even with the free account (and with no account) you have some useful options when setting up and administering your Doodle

In order to distribute your Doodle you can invite participants directly from Doodle using their email address or you can simply copy and paste the URL to the Doodle and distribute it on your own. For participants who are responding to your Doodle, you have the option of allowing them to see the results and selections of others.  However, if you wish you can also have the responses set to private so only the administrator is able to see the selections of other participants.

Outside of my own work, I can see how Doodle would help teachers/educators organize meetings within a school, coordinate meeting times for parent-teacher interviews, committee meetings, extracurricular groups and sports teams, etc.  For meetings or gatherings that span across departments and schools, Doodle can be a great timesaver.

K. Takahashi

Top 5 New Features in iMovie for iOS

Released in October 2013, the new iMovie application for iOS 7 brings with it a new look and many new features.  After having a chance to explore this application, I focus on 5 new features that substantially improve this video editor.

Gamification: Determining My Learning Objectives

Since an earlier post regarding the importance of content connecting to the gamified learning experience, I felt the need to rethink, prioritize and identify the various learning expectations into one of two groups. By identifying learning expectations as either a specific learning expectation or an overall learning expectation, I hope to create a learning task that manages to address all expectations in an experience that is both focussed and straightforward.  The need to provide support surrounding some of the new features within Windows 8 as well as the new hardware features presented with the HP All-in-One PC fall under the more specific learning expectations in this learning activity. These specific expectations go on to support the greater overall learning expectation of exploring and understanding the potential of the PC as a Self Organized Learning Environment (SOLE).

How Will I Approach Or Gamify Specific And Overall Expectations?

This resource was a supporting document in a recent SOLE Challenge from Sugata Mitra and TEDTalks
This resource was a supporting document in a recent SOLE Challenge from Sugata Mitra and TEDTalks

Similar to the driving experience that I experienced in the Toyota RAV4, I want to keep the learning objective closely linked to gamified learning experience. If the overall learning expectation is to begin using the PC as a Self Organized Learning Environment with our students then I feel as though the gamified learning task itself should essentially involve teachers engaging the HP All-in-One PC as a SOLE. Sugata Mitra’s work on this topic will help to ensure that the gamified task upholds the fundamental tenets of the Self Organized Learning Environment. (Here is a link to a SOLE Toolkit for a recent TED Talks SOLE Challenge)

The specific learning objectives will also be addressed in this learning activity involving the Self Organized Learning Environment. However, I hope to cover these learning expectations as they naturally occur in the gamified experience. Rather than explicitly setting aside a series of small tasks focussing on the specific learning expectations surrounding Windows 8 software and the All-in-One hardware, the learning of these skills and features will inherently take place as teachers work to complete the learning task.

K. Takahashi