For the past few years, I collected student email addresses (especially if they don’t use their school email address; I know they should, but that’s a battle I’ve chosen not to fight) by having them come up to my computer and type them into a Word document.

That seemed inefficient, so this year I’m using a GoogleForm. Not only does the GoogleForm make life a bit more efficient, but I can also add other information so that I can have that all in one place, specifically parent email and computer tag number (this tag number is used to set up classes in LanSchool; I’m not a huge LanSchool fan but I figure it’s easier to do it as one of the preliminaries than to try to do it mid-year).

That tag number, though, also includes a standardized WPS before the number itself and, of course, if students include the WPS in their form, the data is thrown off and I have to edit. GoogleForms includes a help text field, which includes a bit of extra instruction below the prompt, but students of course tend to read this quickly at best.

Because the tag number is a number, I figured there had to be some way to check (or validate) the number and indeed there was: data validation:

  1. In the edit field view, click on ‘Advanced Settings’.Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 2.44.03 PM
  2. ‘Advanced Settings’ provides a number of formulae.Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 2.44.29 PMScreen Shot 2014-08-27 at 2.40.47 PM
  3. I chose for this simply ‘is a number’, which makes sure that what is entered is a number (and of course including the WPS renders the number no longer a number).
  4. And you can include a custom error message, which in my case is a reminder not to use the WPS in the number.Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 2.42.56 PM