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Friday, October 21, 2016

5 Good Tools for Scheduling Follow-up Meetings After Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-teacher conference season will be upon us shortly. Most schools have a system in place for scheduling the conferences so that the burden of coordinating all of those meetings doesn't fall onto teachers. But when it comes to scheduling follow-up meetings with parents, that responsibility often falls to teachers. Here are some tools that can help you efficiently schedule follow-up meetings with parents.

Google Calendar Appointment Slots
G Suite for Education (formerly Google Apps for Education) users can use the appointment slots feature in Google Calendar to let people select a meeting time that is convenient for all parties. The appointment slots can be used to show people when you are available and allow them to sign-up to meet with you. Complete directions for creating appointment slots can be found here.

Doodle
Doodle is a free tool for scheduling group meetings with the input of all group members. Doodle is essentially a polling platform. To use Doodle you create a meeting title, select a series of dates and times for a possible meeting, then invite people to choose the dates and times that work best for them. As the administrator of a scheduling poll you can set the final meeting time based on the most commonly selected date and time. Watch the video below for complete directions on how to use Doodle.



ClassTag
To get started on ClassTag create an account and enter some basic information about your classroom or classes that you teach. To get the full benefit of ClassTag you will need to enter the email addresses of your students' parents. Once those steps are completed you can create a parent-teacher conference schedule. You can create time slots as short as 15 minutes or as long as an hour. Once a parent reserves a slot no one else can grab it.

Calendly
Calendly is a tool that integrates with your Google Calendar and makes it easy to create appointment slots with just a click or two. More importantly, people who want to schedule an appointment with you just have to click a time on your calendar and enter their names in order to reserve an appointment. Visitors do not have to have a Google Account to view or enter information into an appointment slot. Visitors who make appointments with you through Calendly can sync the appointment to their own Google Calendars, iCal, or Outlook calendars.

Choice Eliminator
Choice Eliminator is a Google Forms Add-on that lets you create a Form on which choices disappear after they have been used. For example, if I create a Google Form that has ten meeting times listed on it, once a meeting time has been selected it will disappear from the options available to subsequent visitors. Using Choice Eliminator is a good option for teachers who have personal Google Accounts, but don't have G Suite for Education accounts. Watch the following video to learn how to use Choice Eliminator.