Schools and colleges are busy places. Between regular classes, unexpected club meetings, and everything in between, students, teachers, and school staff have a lot on their plates. It can be a challenge to stay on top of everything and make sure nothing is overlooked. That’s where tools like calendar apps come in handy. They help everyone stay organized and on track.
The Calendar App for Schools by VirtoSoftware is a popular choice, but there are many other options out there. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best calendar apps that can make life in an educational setting a bit easier.
The Rising Need for Academic Calendar Apps
1. Centralized Schedules: Access to all activities, events, and deadlines in one unified space.
2. Collaborative Planning: Facilitates seamless sharing of dates, assignments, and reminders.
3. Timely Alerts: Prevents overlooking crucial tasks or events with timely notifications.
A Dive into the Best Academic Calendars
The Virto Calendar for Collegesfor Schools isn’t just another app; it’s an experience. Picture a digital realm where every event, big or small, is meticulously mapped. From an urgent teacher’s meeting to a long-awaited college fest date, everything finds a neat corner. Its synchronized updates are like the gentle nudges, ensuring you’re always in sync with real-time changes.
Google Calendar, meanwhile, is akin to a trusty old friend who knows just what you need. Its strength lies in its simplicity and integration. Whether you’re working on a school project using Google Docs or setting up a virtual class on Google Meet, this calendar keeps tabs, making sure you never miss a beat. The color-coding system? Think of it as the artist’s palette, allowing you to paint your schedule in hues that resonate with your mood and activity type.
Stepping into the world of Microsoft Calendar is like entering a well-oiled machine. It’s a universe where every cog, bolt, and gear is interconnected. If your academic life heavily revolves around Microsoft’s ecosystem—be it Teams discussions, OneNote musings, or Outlook emails—this calendar becomes the central hub, orchestrating seamless symphonies of schedules.
When students crave a sanctuary that understands their pulse, the myHomework Student Planner steps in. It’s not just about dates and alarms; it’s about presenting a holistic view of their academic journey. From that daunting math assignment to the much-anticipated science fair date, everything gets a spotlight.
For the minimalists, Timetable emerges as the epitome of elegance and efficiency. Stripped of any distractions, it presents a pristine interface where every class, assignment, or meeting is treated with reverence. And its thoughtful feature, like the auto-mute, is like that silent guardian ensuring tranquility during classes.
ClassUp is more than just a scheduling tool; it’s a canvas. Every student, teacher, or administrator becomes an artist, sketching out their unique academic narratives. From quirky annotations to vibrant visuals, it celebrates the individuality of each user.
Any.do is like that meticulous friend who remembers everything. Its smooth interface makes task tracking seem like a breeze. Students and faculty alike can set reminders for assignments, meetings, or even the next coffee break. With integrations like Google Calendar and Outlook, it’s a seamless extension of one’s academic workflow.
Fantastical is often hailed as the magician of calendar apps. Its natural language processing lets you create events using simple phrases like “Coffee with Prof. Smith at 3 PM tomorrow.” For college students juggling between classes, assignments, and social commitments, Fantastical becomes a trusted aide.
Study Cal takes the essence of being a student into its core. Apart from basic scheduling, it assists in tracking grades and managing assignments and even gives a visual representation of one’s academic progress, making it an all-in-one academic companion.
Challenges and Solutions: Making the Most of Your Calendar App
Navigating the academic world can sometimes feel overwhelming. Here are a few common challenges and how the right calendar app can provide solutions:
Overlapping Schedules: With classes, club meetings, personal study sessions, and extracurricular activities, students often find their schedules overlapping. Advanced calendar apps allow users to visually block out times, ensuring they don’t double-book themselves and can plan rest periods in between activities.
Forgetting Deadlines: It’s easy to lose track of when that big project is due or when an important test is scheduled. By setting up advanced reminders, users can get notifications not just on the day of the deadline but days or even weeks in advance, ensuring ample preparation time.
Coordinating Group Projects: Group assignments often mean coordinating with several people’s schedules. Shared calendar features allow group members to sync their availability, making planning meetings a breeze.
Criteria to Consider: How to Choose the Right Calendar
Ease of Use
A user-friendly interface ensures that everyone, from tech-savvy students to educators, can navigate and use the app effectively.
A calendar that seamlessly integrates with other commonly used apps can greatly streamline academic processes.
The ability to personalize aspects of the calendar—be it color-coding or adding notes—enhances user experience.
Choosing a platform that’s accessible across multiple devices ensures continuity, especially in our increasingly mobile world.
Security & Privacy
Given the sensitive nature of some academic information, security features should be top-notch.
Beyond Calendars: Other Essential Digital Companions for Academia
While calendars keep your dates in check, the academic realm demands an arsenal of digital tools to keep everything else in order:
Task Managers: Tools like Trello or Asana can help in organizing group projects, delegating tasks, and ensuring timely submissions.
Note-Taking Apps: Evernote and OneNote come to the rescue, ensuring that every iota of information is captured, be it a lecture note or a sudden spark of inspiration.
Document Management: Google Drive or Dropbox keeps all academic documents organized, shareable, and accessible, ensuring collaborative endeavors are smooth.
Communication Platforms: Apps like Slack or Microsoft Teams foster communication, ensuring everyone stays on the same page.
Reading & Research: Tools like Mendeley or Zotero streamline the process of academic research, making referencing and bibliography a breeze.
In today’s digitized academic environment, tools like the Calendar App for Schools by VirtoSoftware have become indispensable. But these calendar apps are more than mere schedulers. They’re the navigational compasses guiding students and educators through the intricate maze of academic commitments.
The right calendar is akin to a reliable compass, helping users smoothly traverse the diverse landscape of academia. From integrating schedules and setting reminders to fostering collaboration, these digital aids are at the heart of modern academic success.
As we merge education with technology, the essence isn’t just in adopting a tool, but in harnessing its true potential. It’s about maximizing productivity, alleviating stress, and ensuring that every academic moment is both organized and purposeful.
Team TAWI, winners in the education category of the 2023 Imagine Cup world finals qualifying round have gone on to win the World Championship. The team qualified from 48 competing global teams to be selected among the top 3 to compete in the World Championship at Microsoft Build. They win the grand prize of USD 100,000, a mentorship session with Microsoft’s Chairman and CEO, Satya Nadella, and Level 2 access to Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub.
They faced winning teams from the Americas and Asia regions; Eupnea from the United States, and CS-M Tool from Thailand, respectively. Winning the competition showcasing their solution that seeks to help people with auditory processing disorder communicate more easily. It leverages speech recognition tools from Azure Cognitive Services and OpenAI Whisper to enhance speech, reduce background noise, and transcribe speech to text in real-time.
The annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is one of the most anticipated events in the tech industry, where Apple showcases its latest innovations and updates for its software platforms and developer tools. This year, WWDC 2023 will take place from June 5 to June 9 at the San Jose Convention Center in California and will feature a keynote presentation, technical sessions, hands-on labs, and networking opportunities for developers from around the world.
Here are some of the highlights that attendees can look forward to this year at WWDC 2023:
The next major version of Apple’s mobile operating system will introduce new features and improvements for iPhone and iPad users, such as a redesigned home screen with widgets and app library, a revamped notification system with focus modes and summary, a universal control feature that lets you use a single mouse and keyboard across multiple devices, and enhanced privacy and security options with iCloud Private Relay and App Privacy Report.
The latest update for Apple’s desktop operating system will bring more continuity and compatibility with iOS devices, such as AirPlay to Mac, which lets you stream audio and video from your iPhone or iPad to your Mac, and Shortcuts for Mac, which lets you automate tasks with Siri or the Shortcuts app. macOS 12.5 will also include new features for Safari, such as tab groups and extensions on the App Store, and new features for FaceTime, such as SharePlay and spatial audio.
The next version of Apple’s wearable operating system will offer more health and fitness features for Apple Watch users, such as a new Mindfulness app that helps you relax and focus with breathing exercises and reflections, a new Sleep app that tracks your respiratory rate and trends over time, and new workout types such as Tai Chi and Pilates. watchOS 8 will also support new watch faces and complications, such as a portrait face that uses your photos and a world time face that shows multiple time zones.
The next update for Apple’s TV operating system will enhance the entertainment experience for Apple TV users, such as a new For All of You row that suggests shows and movies based on the preferences of everyone in your household, a new Shared with You row that shows content that your friends and family have shared with you via Messages or Mail, and a new HomeKit integration that lets you control your smart home devices from your TV screen.
The next major version of Apple’s tablet operating system will bring more productivity and creativity features for iPad users, such as a multitasking menu that lets you easily switch between split view and slide-over modes, a quick note feature that lets you jot down notes from any app with an Apple Pencil or keyboard shortcut, and a translate app that lets you translate text and speech in real-time. iPadOS 15 will also support new features for Safari, such as tab groups and extensions on the App Store, and new features for FaceTime, such as SharePlay and spatial audio.
The next version of Apple’s programming language will introduce new features and improvements for developers, such as async/await syntax that simplifies writing asynchronous code, actors that provide concurrency safety for shared mutable state, property wrappers that let you define custom behaviors for properties, and result builders that let you create DSLs with natural syntax.
The next version of Apple’s integrated development environment will offer more tools and capabilities for developers, such as Xcode Cloud, which lets you build, test, and deliver apps in the cloud with continuous integration and delivery services, Swift Playgrounds 4, which lets you create full-fledged apps on your iPad with live previews and code completion, and TestFlight for Mac, which lets you beta test your Mac apps with feedback and analytics.
These are just some of the exciting things that attendees can look forward to this year at WWDC 2023. If you want to learn more about the event or register for it, visit the official website at https://developer.apple.com/wwdc23/.
The Microsoft Africa Development Centre (ADC) and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Department of Computing have reviewed the university’s Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Bachelor of Computer Technology curriculum to make them more relevant to industry demands.
The new curriculum will impact the delivery of 128 units within the university’s Computer science and Computer technology courses. The curriculum is expected to start with the September 2023 students intake.
The updated curriculum will assist in preparing students for the demands of a rapidly changing technology industry by emphasizing practical skill development and simulating real-world experience within the classroom. In addition to a refreshed approach to traditional technological concepts, the reviewed curriculum will introduce new and innovative concepts, including Applied Machine Learning, Virtual Reality, Quantum Computing, and User Experience Design, as well as industry-standard tools at the education level to improve student’s familiarity with them as they enter the workplace.
Catherine Muraga, the Managing Director at Microsoft ADC said that they are delighted to have partnered with Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in the curriculum review process and have their experts contribute specialized knowledge that will allow for tech industry-ready students and use of improved standards of teaching. Globally employable Kenyans boost Kenya’s attractiveness as a destination for technology companies looking to invest here. The startup ecosystem, local businesses, and entrepreneurs working on transforming technology will also benefit.
The curriculum review process is part of the ADC’s larger goal of catalyzing digital transformation by providing opportunities for skill and practical knowledge acquisition to equip Kenyans to be competitive in the global digital landscape.
“The review process has been extensive, with invaluable insights and recommendations from experienced industry experts that will add significant value to classroom instruction. We look forward to providing our students with best-in-class education that integrates practical skills building and theoretical understanding as they prepare for success in the technology industry,” said Dr Lawrence Nderu, Chairman, Department of Computing at JKUAT.
Similar curriculum review initiatives will be implemented at other institutions of higher learning as part of efforts to bridge the ever-present gap between industry and academia, particularly in the technology sector.
“We believe that by partnering with educational institutions, from primary school to the university level, we can help create a future workforce equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in a digital age. We look forward to working with other institutions of higher learning to develop curricula that will improve the whole technology talent pipeline and grow the pool of tech talent in the country to benefit the whole ecosystem,” added Ms Muraga.
Kenya’s student team TAWI has qualified for the 2023 Microsoft Imagine Cup World Championship set to take place in May. The team emerged winners in the education category of the 2023 Imagine Cup world finals qualifying round. Beating 15 other teams to become the top-scoring team and 2023 Europe Middle East and Africa(EMEA) champions. They won USD5,000 in prizes.
Team TAWI also qualified from 48 competing global teams to be selected among the top 3 that will compete in the 2023 Microsoft Imagine Cup World Championship. Where they will compete for the Imagine Cup trophy, the grand prize of USD100,000 to develop their project, and a mentoring session with Microsoft Chairman and CEO, Satya Nadella.
Team TAWI consists of Muna Said Nomy, John Onsongo Mabeya, Syntiche Musawu, Applied Computer Technology, and Zakariya Hussein, Data Science and Analytics undergraduate students of the United States International University (USIU) – Africa in Nairobi, Kenya. Their innovative solution TAWI looks to make a difference in the lives of those who struggle with auditory processing.
The home-based software leverages real-time speech recognition technology to help children with Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) communicate more effectively. Instead of traditional hearing aids, TAWI uses earphones to amplify speech and cancel out background noise, making it easier for children with APD to engage in conversations and interact with others. It includes noise cancellation, sound amplification, speech-to-text conversion, and auditory training exercises.
The team will present TAWI at Microsoft Build 2023 where the Microsoft Imagine Cup World Championship takes place. They will compete against the winning teams from the Americas and Asia regions. Eupnea from the United States and CS-M Tool from Thailand, both from the Health category.
Student teams, Smart Farmer and iBoost from Kenya also emerged as EMEA winners in the Earth and Lifestyle categories respectively.
Hongera to these incredible young developers and all the best to Team TAWI in the championship!🎉
University students from across Kenya and some parts of Africa can now apply to participate in season 4 of the Microsoft Africa Development Centre’s (ADC) Game of Learners (GOL) student hackathon competition. The GOL initiative provides an opportunity for African university students, aspiring software engineers, and solution builders to improve their technical and coding abilities while creating solutions to current challenges facing the continent and the world.
GoL student hackathon Season 4
In this year’s student hackathon competition, participants will be working to develop possible technology solutions that can address different health challenges, including how to improve healthcare service provision in their localities or other parts of the world. The program runs as a 5-week hackathon with teams captained by Microsoft Learn Student Ambassadors crafting the innovations while receiving technical training from Microsoft’s professionals.
“Since we launched Game of Learners four years ago, we have seen incredible development in the learner’ skills through each season as they create incredibly clever solutions to some of Africa’s pressing problems using Microsoft technology,” said Ruth Ferland, Senior Program Manager at ADC, and the founder of the Game of Learners Program. “This year’s theme will allow the participants to plug into an area that has enormous potential to impact lives across the continent and indeed around the world.”
The students will benefit from the instruction of 32 coaches and more than 20 advisors who will guide them through the process of learning new technologies and building their solutions. The coaches, mentors, judges, speakers, and trainers will consist of volunteers from Microsoft and partners, who for season 4 will include PSI and AMREF Health Africa.
At the end of the season, the winning team will be eligible for awards, including collaboration with GOL Season 4 partners to advance their solution and entry into the Microsoft Imagine Cup, where they will present their innovation on a global stage.
“This partnership with Microsoft is part of a larger initiative to increase the talent pool of individuals working in Digital Health across Africa”, said Martin Dale, Population Services International’s (PSI) Global Director of Digital Health. “There is so much talent graduating from our universities and Game of Learners is a great opportunity for students to dig in and create solutions that make health care more accessible to all.”, he continued.
Speaking about the initiative, Samuel Weru, AMREF Health Africa Group ICT Director, challenged students to apply for the program and be part of the drive towards creating home-grown solutions for Africa’s challenges.
“As a continent that has historically had serious healthcare challenges, we need the kind of ideas that can only come from the youth to revitalize healthcare service provision. There are myriad opportunities ranging from health informatics and telemedicine to big data analysis and system security for the learners to explore. We are eager to work with the teams to create solutions that have the potential to change Africa and the world,” said Weru.
GoL Season 4
In total, Season 4 will have 16 teams, each made up of 4 learners, 2 men and 2 women, drawn from all over the continent. The virtual student hackathon competition is open to students of accredited universities and colleges in sub-Saharan Africa, who will be vetted as per the requirements after submitting an online application.
“The program is designed to provide a fun, hands-on learning experience while creating a virtual environment that transcends borders to allow young minds to collaborate and drive the advancement of Africa into a global innovation hub. Having gender-balanced teams further ties into our mission of promoting diversity and inclusion within the tech industry,” explains Ferland.
Like a sports league, each 5-week season of Game of Learners follows up with a month-long season of GOL Clinic and GOL exhibitions to accord individuals seeking deeper hands-on technical experience and specialized training from Microsoft and GOL partners.