For educators, Google Forms are an integral component of facilitating personalized and adaptive learning. But, they can also be huge in driving efficiency.
“Google Forms are really my favorite tech tool,” said Brent Coley, principal of Alta Murrieta Elementary School (Calif.), at a March 15 session at the Spring CUE 2018 conference. “I use them every single day.”
Google Forms, which can be used to facilitate a survey or quiz, reports data into Google Sheets so teachers and administrators can use the raw data. Coley offered up four innovative ways educators and administrators can embrace Google Forms to streamline documentation and feedback.
1. Ease Documentation with a Parent Contact Log
“Every time I contact a parent, whether by phone or even in front of the school at drop-off, I fill out this Google Form,” said Coley.
Using the form, Coley said he can keep track of exactly what he has talked with parents about and when. Later, if a parent comes to him about a certain issue, he is able to check whether or not they have discussed it before.
2. Use Forms to Report Discipline Reliably
When he worked at the middle school level, Coley said his staff had a lot of issues with students sticking gum on classroom furniture. Though teachers and administrators were supposed to report students for chewing gum, they didn’t always remember.
By creating a Google Form to report the gum chewing, teachers only had to enter a few items to report a student and Coley said it was vastly easier to enforce the rule.
3. Differentiate Instruction with Homework Feedback Forms
For teachers with large classes, differentiating instruction for each student can be quite difficult, but Google Forms can provide a big assist.
Using a homework feedback form, Coley said teachers can have each student log how his or her homework assignment went. This gives children who are shy an easier way to let teachers know they are struggling, and it also lets educators see the specific areas that need remediation.
“You can differentiate your instruction before class has even started,” said Coley.
4. Add-Ons Take Forms to the Next Level
Add-ons, which can be downloaded directly in a Google Form or Sheet, are a great way to make the simple technology a bit more dynamic.
In a Google Sheet created from a Form survey, Coley said that EZ Query is a great way to segment data. Using the add-on, users can create a new sheet sorted by a value in the spreadsheet. For example, in his parent contact log, Coley uses EZ Query to separate the interactions based on the grade of the student.
Another add-on, autoCrat, allows users to merge data from a spreadsheet into a document by using a template. Once data is entered into a Google Form, Coley said autoCrat creates a dynamic document and also populates a Google Sheet with the data.
For example, he has created a classroom walkthrough form that he uses on his phone, and when he’s done entering notes, it automatically emails the teacher a form. Coley said he’s been able to use the tool for positive reinforcement, with relatively little effort after building the initial template.
“[Teachers] know if I come through, a few minutes later they’ll have something good in their inbox,” Coley said.
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