As many of you know we implemented Google Apps for Education in October 2008. This provided all our students with @my.smccd.edu email addresses.
What many of you may not know is Google Apps for Education does far more than just email! In fact it could completely revolutionize your life! There are so many amazing tools but today I am going to focus on one of my favorites which is Google forms.
Jaz, what is so great about Google forms?
Well, Google forms allows you to easily create an online form to collect information and stores it in a google spreadsheet that you can easily export into excel.
But Jaz, why would I want to collect data from people?
Good question. I am going to give you some examples.
- You are hosting an event or workshop and you would like people to register.
- You are throwing a holiday potluck and you would like people to sign up to bring a food item.
- You are raffling holiday gift baskets and you would like people to sign up to buy raffle tickets.
- You have been paying for survey monkey and with budget cuts you would love a free solution.
- You would like to gather feedback from your students, your staff or your community about their concerns or suggestions.
- You would like a way for students to vote online for something.
Hold a virtual election or get their votes on budget items affecting them.
- You have a bizzillion paper forms and would like an easy way to allow people to submit online.
Imagine how much better life would be if you didn’t have to do all that data entry of paper forms?
- You can create your own support request form.
Would you like people to submit requests for your department online?
I think you get the idea.
That sounds awesome, can you show me an example?
Here are examples of a potluck sign-up form.
Google Form – There are dozens of themes you can choose from to jazz up your forms.
Google Spreadsheet – After someone submits the form it automatically goes into the google spreadsheet. For this example I published the spreadsheet to the world so you could view it without logging it. It will automatically update the web version every 5 minutes.
Previous Responses – You can open it up so everyone can see previous responses. Everything is automatically tallied for you.
You sold me, how do I get started?
The first thing you will need is a @my.smccd.edu email account. You can request an account by going to the IT Services Request Form on the portal page.
Once you have your account you can login at: http://my.smccd.edu
Click on “Docs” in the upper right hand corner and you are on your way.
There are an insane amount of online resources and tutorials available to help you. Here are the ones I recommend:
1) Step by Step on Google Forms – http://kinetiva.com/tutorials/creating_online_forms_with_google_forms.pdf
2) Video - Introduction to Google Forms in 5 minutes – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFYu4r0q25k
3) Google Apps Interactive Tutorial – http://services.google.com/apps/resources/overviews/welcome/topicWelcome/index.html
4) Video – Why Google Apps for Education? (Great introduction) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRYRbPCHTck
5) Google Docs for Teachers – http://docs.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=134592
Jaz, I am truly inspired and cannot wait to get started! Can you do a presentation at one of our department meetings next Spring?
Yes, we can do a roadshow on your campus at a department meeting. We would like to customize the presentations to suite your needs and hopefully have a finished form by the end or the meeting. Make sure you have an idea in mind on how your department might like to use google forms.
Please fill out the form to secure the date and time: http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dEdOSmpINEhKRVNyeXNxVkdrbmFDbFE6MA
Now I’m a google forms pro, can I do anything more advanced with it?
If you’re not a huge tech/web geek you may want to skip this part because it’s pretty advanced.
You can create a self-graded quiz using google forms and formulas in your spreadsheet. video tutorial
You can event create your own HTML forms and submit to the google forms. http://www.smccd.edu/accounts/portal/googleformexample.html
Since you can submit your HTML forms directly to Google that means google spreadsheets can now be your back-end database!
You can query the spreadsheet and display your results: http://ouseful.wordpress.com/2009/05/18/using-google-spreadsheets-as-a-databace-with-the-google-visualisation-api-query-language/