Google Calendar is an online application that aggregates calendar feeds from a variety of sources. Every user at CA has a Google Calendar Free/Busy feed associated with their Google Apps account, and will have other institutional calendar feeds published directly to them.
Google Calendar is a great "catcher of feeds," but can be challenging for new users to navigate, or to translate established CA communication practices. Block Scheduling, or identifying "frees" in particular can be particularly trying for new users to attempt to codify. Please look at the 00) Core Calendar Concepts pages for aid in understanding how to best transfer your existing workflow.
We are adding a variety of tools to offer interface enhancements to Google Calendar. Sign up pages that display block schedule information, or directly imputing course events into participant Calendar feeds, these will all help to layer rich information into your Google Calendar view.
What are the benefits of this feature?
Now, for the first time, you will be able to predict when any class is meeting in any room. You will be able to schedule a meeting with someone without the trying "send me your frees, and I will send you mine" endless emails. You will be able to select a variety of categories of events, depending on your particular interests, and condense them within a single feed. You will also be able to decide how and when you will be notified of changes, updates, or just the actual timing of events, depending on your own preferences.
How do I learn more?
This is a two-part answer.
1) Learn about how to use Google Calendar to schedule meetings. Even though you might not think you need to schedule meetings with anyone, the basic steps involved with creating an event, adding a room and guest, and aligning the event to mutually free time is central to using these tools. Learn how to do this using the Google Apps Training that comes with our School Accounts.
2) Find the CA Connect pages that describe the policies and workflows that are being developed and executed at CA to use these tools. Room Reservations are a great example. Rather than deploying a brand new Room Reservation tool, separate from our day-to-day use, we are integrating Room Resource Scheduling into our CA Google Apps Google Calendar use. Want to learn how to reserve a room at CA? First make sure you understand how to schedule a meeting.