Thursday, November 13, 2014

Going Google #3: I have all this data from my form...what do I do with it now? Part 1

It is no secret that I love Google Forms.  Paul Murray and I frequently share our love of this easy to use data collection tool with our teachers and others around the state, like in this presentation from miGoogle 2013.  One of the problems I have with data collection, however, is what to do with all the information, and make it manageable, once you have it collected.  I often look at spreadsheets full of Form responses and wonder, "There are 200 responses here!  How am I going to make sense of all this?"  Thankfully, there are some really amazing add-ons and tools that, with little effort on the users part, can make the data come alive.

Tool #1: Add-on - autoCrat

As a teacher, I collect information from my students/families every year.  Information such as names, parents/guardians names, preferred email address, preferred phone number, best way to contact parents/guardians, etc.  This information can be easily collected with a Form at open house, parent night, or on a classroom website.  Once the forms are filled out, all the information can be reviewed in a Google Spreadsheet.  Wouldn't it be nice, though, to take all that information and have it automatically create a document for each entry that lists all the information for that particular child in a way that would be easy to read and reference?  Of course it would be!  This is where autoCrat comes in.  autoCrat is a document merge tool that works as a add-on in Google Spreadsheets.  It allows you to create a Google Doc or PDF and have information from your spreadsheet automatically populate the document with the specific information.  Here is a video to explain more about how to use autoCrat.


Classroom Uses:
  • Formative Assessments - Have students take a quick formative assessment using a Google Form.  Share their answers back with them using autoCrat.  autoCrat will also auto-create the document and send it out as the forms are filled in.
  • Sign Up Sheets - Ski Club Adviser?  Coach?  Activity Leader?  Have students/families sign up using a google form and automatically send them confirmation of their registration via autoCrat
  • Open House Information Sheets - Yup, I already mentioned this one above.


Tool #2: Add-ons - Merge by Mail Chimp

Sometimes you don't need a fancy document, you just want to send out an email to the respondents of the form with the some (or all) of the information collected in the form.  If this is the case, then the Add-on Merge by Mail Chimp - found in documents, is the tool for you.  Check out this easy tool in the video below.



Classroom Uses:
  • Formative Assessments - Have students take a quick formative assessment using a Google Form.  Share their answers back with them via email with Merge.
  • Confirm responses to a survey or form via email
  • Send out a personalized email to a group

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