How to have kids set up an individual zoom meeting online for office hours using google calendar

This is going to be a really quick blogpost. On twitter, I was talking with someone about how to set up individual check in meetings with kids. I shared briefly how I had kids sign up to see me during office hours, and I thought I’d quickly write a blogpost about it to make it clearer. A lot of high school teachers at my school did this, and found it helpful. (I learned it from them.)

First, you need to install the Zoom Scheduler extension for chrome.

Then, all you do to set up appointment slots for kids is to go to the day you want to on your google calendar and create a new event. Now to make appointment slots for kids to use, it’s just this simple!

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That’s literally it. You’ve done it! Once you’re done, your google calendar will look like this:

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So how do students sign up for an appointment? You just send them a link to your appointment calendar, and they click on the appointment slot they want. To be clear, your appointment calendar is different from your regular calendar. The appointment calendar only lists the things that you have set up appointment slots for, not your entire calendar. (So you don’t have to worry that kids will see the happy hour that you included on your google calendar!)

To get the link to your appointment calendar to share with kids, just click the appointments you just created on your google calendar and you’ll see this:

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Clicking “go to appointment page for this calendar” will lead you to a page with just appointments. The URL on that page is the link that you give to your kiddos. So they use that one link for the whole year! That’s it!!!

But if you’re like me, you want a bit more info… so…

This is what the appointment page looks like for your kiddos:

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They click on the time slot they want, and it will reserve it in their name. This pops up when you click on it [note: it shows my name and not a student name because I signed up for an appointment with me! It will really show your student’s name.]

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Now on the appointment page, that slot has been taken away so no other student can claim it:

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When that happens, I as a teacher get an email that alerts me to the fact that a student has signed up. That email gives me the zoom link to the meeting — but I can get that zoom link when I go to my regular google calendar and click on the time slot that was taken. This is what my calendar looks like after someone signs up for a meeting:

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Also, the student who signed up gets an email in their inbox with the information for the meeting (including the zoom link)… and the appointment automatically shows up on their own personal google calendar. AWESOMENESS!

Okay, that’s all!

In case this is helpful! It worked for a lot of us at my school.

PS. A couple pieces of advice…

I did this during my required “office hours” which were usually 3-4pm. I created 15 minute windows for them to meet with me. But I told kids they had to sign up before 2pm on the day of. That way I wasn’t just waiting around for them in case they signed up at 3:44pm.

Even though these were individual meetings, I figured sometimes kids might want to come in a pair or trio (if they were working on something together and got stuck). I told them one of them had to sign up but they could share the zoom link with others, so we could all meet at once! No one actually did that in the spring, but I suspect that that’s because I only mentioned it once or twice… I might make more of an effort to have kids to do that in the fall.

UPDATE: Recurring Office Hour Meetings

If you want to create Office Hours that kids can sign up for every Monday, you don’t have to do this every week. You can do this when setting up your office hours…

After entering the basic information, click “MORE OPTIONS”

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You’ll “Make it a zoom meeting,” and then you’ll click on the “DOES NOT REPEAT” option to bring up the options to create a repeating meeting. I always choose Custom — because even if you want office hours weekly every Monday, if you click “Weekly on Monday,” they’re going to appear on your calendar every Monday until the end of time. :)

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So then you just decide how you want the office hours to recur! (Yup, you could even say Monday, Wednesday, and Friday if you want! Or every other week!)

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This screenshot above shows office hours being created every Monday but will stop showing up on the calendar on December 14th (so, for example, at the end of a semester or some reasonable date).

But WAIT Sam! What if there is a particular Monday you can’t have office hours?

Just click on the office hours on your google calendar and press the delete button (trash can). It’ll ask you if you want to delete ALL of the office hours, or just this one day of office hours. Just pick “This event”:

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