I’ve remained ambivalent about GoogleTools / GoogleApps, as I’ve written before. On the one hand, it’s hard to argue with Google’s omnipresence and, to a lesser extent (in terms of non-searching) success. The fact that everything is net-based and integrated alone makes Google worth exploring. GoogleForms is one of those tools that I enjoyed receiving and completing but hard more trouble creating and distributing.

The presentation of the GoogleForm is what recommends it to me. Rather than a spreadsheet, whose inertness and geometry can be off-putting or at least less than inspiring, the GoogleForm can have a background / theme, can provide text boxes, check boxes, pull-down menus, etc., making it much more like a web site.

I first made one as a way to collect data from my students about what book they were reading for their outside read. It was a simple form that simply asked for their name, the title of their book, and the book’s author. I eventually made it work, but it was less than intuitive how to distribute the form to students in form form (i.e. looking like a form rather than looking like a spreadsheet). This was not an encouraging beginning for me (took more time to figure out the problems than it was worth to collect the data that way), and I moved away from GoogleForms.

Two things have brought me back. The varsity soccer coach and I (JV coach) are collecting prospective player’s data using GoogleForms this year. In the past, he would have them fill out the forms on paper and mail the forms to him. To streamline the process for the players, he would include pre-addressed and stamped envelopes. I can certainly understand wanting to get away from this. So I created a GoogleForm to collect the data. You can check it out here.

I’m going into my first fall as SAT / PSAT coordinator. For SATs, students sign up via College Board. For PSATs, they sign up via the school. I’ve dealt with this to a smaller extent with AP exams (i.e. students taking an AP course are automatically signed up for an exam, but those electing an AP exam from a non-AP course sign-up with me; this is only about 20 students usually), but the couple of hundred PSAT takers would seem to be a logistical nightmare. So I’m going to try to have them sign up online using a GoogleForm. I’ve not finalized the form yet, but a draft version can be found here (click the register button).

So we’ll see how this data collection goes. Especially with PSATs, if it goes wrong, it could be horrific. But I’m going to use my junior class as a test case, and we’ll go from there. If it goes right, it could take a lot of work out of my hands and put it onto the computer. That’s the idea.

For other ideas on using GoogleForms, check out this post.

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