Google Gab has been MIA lately, as have I from my blog. No real excuse for that, other than I needed to spend some time with my family and haven’t been on the computer much at all outside of work- in fact, my GoogleReader inbox is shamefully full!
I wanted to post about a project ou school’s tech committee put together last week. Back in August our committee decided that we would look into sponsoring an election day at our school. We put together a website that was full of election resources for kids, and we coordinated a day for them to all vote in the Presidential Election. We had looked into a couple of ways to have them vote by computer, including surveymonkey.com and using a “group” site like Yahoo Groups or Google Groups. There were pros and cons to each. After asking the Google Certified Teacher Forum, I proposed the idea that Google Forms might be just what we needed.
We set up the ballot page to ask about the Presidential candidates, our local school bond issue, favorite subject, and favorite special’s class. We set up part of our library with voting stations (laptops surrounded by privacy shields) and patriotic decorations. Each class came down for a 15 minute time frame and each student had a chance to vote. Then they received their “I Voted Electronically” sticker and headed back to class.
Last year I had used surveymonkey to have some grade levels vote on a name for a permanent art display they had made. What I didn’t realize when I began the survey, was that I would have to go in and delete cookies after each child voted. Talk about a pain!! This worked so much easier.
I created the form using Google Docs. Creating it was very straightforward. Go to Google Docs and sign in using your google account information. Then click new and form. From there you simply fill in the boxes with your information. Once complete you click “email this form”. I always send it only to myself and then forward it on to whoever using outlook so that I don’t have to type in each email address.
At this point we could have saved the hyper link as the home page on the laptops and called it good, but we had the problem of reading. We wanted all of our students to be able to vote, including the primary students who may not have been fluent enough to read the questions. Google Docs does have drawbacks- I couldn’t insert the picture directly onto the form, but I did come up with a way to work around this. After I finished creating the form, I went to the top to “more actions” and selected to embed. This allowed me to embed the form into our election website, where I could add pictures to the side. We made that page the home page on each laptop and then only had to click home after each user voted- no clearing cookies!
Google Forms also allowed me to see the election results live, and created graphs that we then shared with teachers to use in their math lessons. Using Google Forms was the best choice for our situation.
A couple of questions I have heard asked about using google forms:
Does each user have to have a google account?
- No! As long as you provide them the link, anyone (including students) are able to vote in the form.
Can I make a form with a rating scale?
- Yes, the scale can have 3-10 choices.