A short time ago, I indulged and allowed myself to facilitate a workshop for paraeducators. What a wonderful experience that was, doing something I hadn’t done in a long time–how to training on spreadsheets. I’ve often reflected at the simple fact that “how-to” training is often unnecessary these days. . .many of us just watch a YouTube video and learn that way. Of course, teachers and those in K-12 education still have a profound need to learn how to do technology related tasks in a face to face environment.
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Often, though, we assume that since folks do have access to an abundance of online tutorials–printed tutorials, videos–that anyone who begins to create how-to resources must surely ask himself, “Should I do this if there’s already tons of stuff online via YouTube and WikiHow?“
The answer should be, “Yes, of course.” I have arrived at that answer through the pleasant experience of re-discovering how much fun preparing for a workshop can be. It may be that we have all the answers, but no one is asking the questions. With the Web, though, it’s so easy to share and realize that some may find your contribution worthwhile.
Below is a sample “real life” problem I am able to solve with spreadsheets. I had not played with this myself, having left those tasks to others. I hope you’ll find these resources helpful. Of course, they feature one or two of my work colleagues.
You can find the original online in the “real problems” section at my Spreadsheet Magic site. I don’t want to suggest that any of this is brilliantly original work…only that it’s my attempt at working through a few items and I hope you find it useful.
Wish you could do more with GoogleForms and GoogleSheets? Then check out these “You can’t live without ’em!” add-ons to our favorite Google tools!
Do you use GoogleForms and/or Google Sheets regularly? I’m amazed at how many neat tools are available to enhance these two Google tools.
Here are a few of the ones I’ve noticed and, when possible, begun slipping into my arsenal of tools to take these two to the next level:
- autoCrat: A nifty tool for blending your GoogleForm responses into PDF templates. Imagine collecting data via GoogleForm then merging it into a PDF form you can print out. Here’s how it’s described: “Automates the creation and sharing of personalized (e.g. merged) Google Docs or PDF email attachments from columns of data in a Google Sheet. Optionally merge documents when forms are submitted!”
- FormLimiter: This has to be THE form enhancer that everyone has been clamoring for: “formLimiter automatically sets Google Forms to stop accepting responses after a maximum number of responses, at a specific date and time, or when a spreadsheet cell contains a specified value.”
- FormPublisher: This is simply amazing, and solves one of the big challenges for folks–how to “disaggregate” data from GoogleForm responses into separate documents without having to export it into a database program or something else. “Form Publisher Add-On generates Google Docs or Google Sheets from a created template, using a Google Form responses.”
- Form Router: Although only available to a “test group” (which it is easy to join, then you get access), “FormRouter appends Google Form question responses to additional Google Spreadsheet destinations.” That means, you can send ONE Google Form responses to MANY destinations. That’s cool.
- Flubaroo & Forms: This combination allows you to have self-graded assessments, as well as push the ability to notify students of their grades. Rather than use an LMS (e.g. Moodle, Edmodo) to assess teachers on digital citizenship with a multiple choice quiz (yes, we still do those), we used Flubaroo and a GoogleForm. Worked great! You may want to read this blog entry that goes into more detail.
- MailMerge Add-ons: If you’re like me, you may have been using a bulk email program of some sort (e.g. MaxBulk Mailer) to get messages out to lists of people. Now that I carry a Chromebook, I want the same ability with GoogleApps.
Although this is the view of “Yet Another Mail Merge” add on, the brightly colored box to the right highlights “Styles” add on for GoogleSheets. It makes it easier for you to format the data in your cells.
Here are two solutions that help you do this:
- Yet Another Mail Merge – While it may be “yet another” one, I’ve used this one to great effect. Folks have no idea that you’ve done a mail merge from a GoogleSheet, and it makes it easier for you as the email sender to customize the information. There are a zillion uses of this in education, especially for campus/district administrators.
- ValMerge – I ran across this one at Spreadsheet Madness and haven’t used it yet. Looks fairly straightforward.
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