iCal

LQ: 8.7

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Brain grade: 9.3
Fun score: 8.1

Platform/Console: , , , LWK Recommended Age: 8+ Thinking Skills Used: , ,

iCal is a digital planner that keeps track of users’ appointments, work, or school schedules using a customizable and color-coded calendar. Users can choose from a small selection of default categories, or create their own, and schedule appointments on their calendar hours, days, or years in advance. iCal can be set to repeat reoccurring events, such as a music lesson, and remind the user in advance. iCal comes standard with Apple devices and syncs easily from iOS to a home computer, meaning appointments scheduled on users’ phones will automatically be added to iCal at home. This application is an excellent organizational tool for users ages 8 and up.


This App is good for kids who need help with:

Organization

Arranging and coordinating materials in order to complete a task. Organizing ideas.

iCal makes it quick and easy for users to keep track of school assignments, extra curricular activities, appointments, commitments, and even birthdays. Users can add and edit scheduled events with ease, creating custom, color-coded categories. For example, iCal can be a useful tool for scheduling reoccurring homework time and will remind users in advance of the planned “event.”

One advantage of iCal is its ability to sync across multiple devices, so no matter where users are, their schedule is available to be viewed, edited, updated, and added to. When creating a new event, users are prompted to create a title and location, as well as sort their newly created appointment into a category. For example, a major homework assignment could be sorted into a category called “School Projects.” When keeping track of a busy schedule, iCal can help users stay organized and on task no matter their location, making it easy to manage a range of workloads and responsibilities.

Planning

Developing a systematic approach for setting and achieving goals.

The process of Planning is simplified by iCal. The application has the ability to create events as far in advance as years or as soon as minutes. The intuitive display and event creation process make outlining events for the hours, days, and months ahead both easy and convenient. iCal can help users plan for something simple, like remembering to buy a birthday gift for a close friend, or something more complicated, like finishing a book report on time. Turning increments of time into colorful blocks on a user’s screen creates a visual representation of future plans, making it easy to spot areas in which a user’s workload is too heavy and areas where a user has more time available. By giving users a tool to keep track of dates, tasks, and events in the near or distant future, iCal helps facilitate an effective strategy for efficiency and Planning.

Time Management

Being efficient and aware of our use of time and effort. Estimating time and meeting deadlines.

To use iCal, users must be able to create effective time management strategies, plotting their busy schedule to maximize productivity. iCal allows users to schedule events in custom categories on specific days and hours. When scheduling an event, users are asked for a title and location, as well as start and end times. Additionally, users can instruct iCal to set reminders for events which will prompt them at a predetermined time, removing the need to check the application to remember appointments. Using iCal can be an effective way to budget time in advance, setting aside periods for appointments, assignments, and other commitments and reminding users when it is time to move from one task to another.


Try out some of the strategies below, and let us know how you use iCal in the comment box at the bottom of the page.

Organization Activity

Have your child begin by determining what kinds of tasks he needs to schedule, and how he will differentiate each commitment. For example, if he has both school commitments and extra curricular activities, he should make those appear in different colors on the calendar. This keeps all assignments and events easy to see and differentiate.

Instruct your child to enter a few major school assignments into iCal, assessing the best dates and times to complete assignments. Encourage him to use a "reminder" on at least one of these assignments so that his device will prompt him in advance of the due date. Try to encourage your child to continue using iCal to keep track of his school assignments and commitments.

Planning Activity

Ask your child to make a list of events or tasks of the near or distant future. Instruct them to add these events to iCal. Events can range anywhere from the birthday of a close friend or family member, to an important game like the Superbowl. By allotting an appropriate amount of time and thought towards these events and activities ahead of time, your child can practice foresight and better manage commitments.

Your child should also try to practice Planning for more immediate tasks. iCal can be an excellent tool in allotting time for homework, or practice time for an instrument or sport. Creating an "event" helps your child become comfortable with setting aside blocks of time in advance to accomplish a future goal or overcome a daunting task.

Time Management Activity

Your child should try to create events for a variety of commitment types, each with varying allotments of time. Encourage him to begin by creating a "Homework" event that repeats on weekdays. He should do his best to reasonably assess the amount of time completing homework takes, and set appropriate start and end times. After a few days, go over the iCal event with your child to see if more or less homework time should be adjusted into the schedule. Not all time needs to be regimented, but your child should try and allot some time for relaxation and leisure activities as well. Learning to manage time effectively includes learning to balance a healthy mixture of work and play.

iCal and ADHD

Planning, Organization, and Time Management are important skills for children with ADHD to master. iCal has the ability to improve all three skills, as the app can list, prioritize, and keep children up-to-date with their latest and most pressing commitments. Children can sync their calendars to their iPhone, iPod, or iPad, allowing them to access their schedules from any location. Children with ADHD who frequently forget their homework and fail to remember due dates, are unlikely to perform well in school. Using iCal, these children can overcome these scholastic impediments simply by keeping track of their daily, weekly, and monthly assignments.

How to Use iCal for Children with ADHD

  • It is often true that children with ADHD have a hard time prioritizing events. As a result, they may overestimate or underestimate the amount of time that certain tasks require. Children with ADHD will find it beneficial to assign blocks of time to the events they create. If they simply title an event "English homework," without a time-frame, the pace in which they work might be too fast or too slow. Setting aside a general amount of time for homework assignments, can help to keep children focused, knowing that they must finish their work in a certain amount of time. They should not rush; rather, find a pace in which they work most productively, and assign time-blocks for future assignments, taking into account their ideal work pace.
  • Events appear on the calendar in a variety of colors. The varied color scheme can make a busy schedule seem less daunting. Children with ADHD will likely find the aesthetic element pleasing and inviting. Children even have the option of choosing how they want their entries to be displayed (by a list, day, or month). The a
  • Children with ADHD should use iCal consistently. A single oversight, can induce old habits of forgetfulness. Children must make a commitment to iCal, allowing the app to become part of their daily life. After they discover the effectiveness of iCal's scheduling function, children with ADHD will become better planners who are able to avoid the chaos of a hectic and disorganized schedule. The app should be used daily - even hourly. As soon as a new assignment is given, or a event is brought to their attention, children should enter it into the calendar, along with an adequate description, and relative time-frame.

iCal is great, but there are plenty of other calendar application alternatives. Let us know which one works for you in the comment box at the bottom of the page.

Agenda Calendar

This app makes it easy to view the big picture, and a daily or weekly agenda that breaks your schedule down to the minute! Find out more here.

 

Week Calendar:

Week Calendar is another colorful option for keeping track of all kinds of time commitments. Find out more here.

 

Awesome Calendar

Awesome Calendar offers a stylish interface, multiple view options, and even to-do list tools for keeping organized and on task! Find out more here.

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