Jon Udell made some interesting points in his blog about the importance of calendars and data feeds. He call syndication of data feeds “transformative technology”. Syndication? Data feeds? Gobbelygook?
He is right. These two technologies are important, but what do they mean? Syndication allows internet users to grab information (usually in the form of RSS, or Really Simple Syndication) and consolidate it in one place rather than going to multiple web sites to gather their daily info dose.
Simply put, at many web sites, you can subscribe to a feed, and read all of your subscribed feeds from one place using a reader tool (Google Reader is a good and simple one). And Viola! Every time new posts are added, or information is updated, it shows up as new in your reader. Easy, and cool!
You will be interested to know that Tandem for Schools provides RSS feeds of calendar events. Users can filter events by group to track events and updates. So there is nothing for users to do except review their feeds on a regular basis. If events are updated in the system, everyone has the updates immediately, easing communication and office logistics.
So, the PDF you may be posting may be working for you for now. But what happens if the staff member that updates it is out? How do change requests get communicated? Tandem for Schools gets around all this. Your entire staff can be empowered to manage the calendar. And your parents and students will be drawn in to higher involvement. That’s the goal anyway.