Thursday, May 24, 2012

Integrating Google Docs into a Google Calendar Event

Google is amazing.   In a world full of usernames and passwords, it is nothing short of  remarkable what one little username and password can get you access to online.  Be it a district branded Google Domain login or your personal Google Account, Google gives you access to your most frequently used applications all in one place, with one login.

Each of these tools are remarkable in their own right, but Google did not stop there.  Most of their tools flawlessly integrate with one another too.  Whether you are inserting a Google Form, Map, or Picasa slideshow into a Google Site, or inserting a picture from your Picasa Web Album into a Google Presentation, the process is typically seamless.  The one exception to this rule occurs when you embed a Google Document into a Google Calendar event.

The issue here is twofold.  First, the Event Attachment feature must be enabled in Calendar Labs (easy enough).  Second, and more challenging is dealing with the privacy defaults in Google Docs.   All documents are private by default. When you insert a document in a calendar event, it remains private.  All seems well on your end when testing the link because you are logged into Google, but when your students attempt to access the embedded document, they are met with a Google Docs login screen, not the embedded document.

The Solution is to enable public sharing for each file you embed in your calendar, but this can be a tedious process.  My solution is simple, create a public folder in your Docs/Drive account and then drag files into it.  Documents automatically take on the sharing setting of the parent folder. 

See the two step process laid out below in both image and screencast format. 

1. Enable the Event Attachments feature from Calender Labs.

2. Making the documents you want to embed "Public on the web" opposed to the default Private.

 I demonstrate the full process in the screencast below.

photo credit: Stuckin Customs via photo pin cc

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