Tag Archives: Google Gab

Google Gab- Google Forms

11 Nov


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.

voteWe 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.

Google SMS

6 Oct

Have you ever been out and about with firends and wanted to know the closest movie theater?  Ever been on vacation and wanted to order pizza in?  Well Google has the answer!  I know, I know, you already knew that, but you don’t have a computer with you?  No problem, as long as you have your phone.  Simply text what you need to know to Google (466453) and they will text you back with the info.  Anything from the weather or stock quotes, to money conversion and word translations can be at your fingertips.

To the left is an example of what might appear if I text “weather Chicago” to Google.  To learn more about this service, click here.

There is no charge for this service (as with most google services) but you cell phone company may charge for text messages based on your plan.

Do you not have texting on your phone?  Call 1-800-Goog-411.  This is the new way to find out a phone number or address for businesses.  There is no charge for this service as with most 411 services.  Goog-411 can connect you to the phone number, or will even text you the information you need if that is your preference.

These two tools can be invaluable when traveling, when you are just out for a day of shopping or a night on the town.  Be sure to save these numbers on your cell and the next time you need answers, you know who to call!

Google Gab- iGoogle

15 Sep

Today I am reposting about iGoogle.    Many of you are probably very familiar with iGoogle but for those of you who are not, it is a wonderful tool.  iGoogle is a customizable homepage.  It allows you to have one page with many mini-pages, gadgets, widgets, and applications feeding into it.  You can have your email, news, blog updates, weather, jokes of the day, and countless other apps delivered to one place.  Here is a copy of my page:

As you can see, I have my gmail, weather, top news stories, and RSS feeds among other applications.  I can rearrange, add or delete from these any time.  I can also change my theme to fit my mood. Once you have added several apps, you can begin tabbing.  I set mine up with categories- home, games, teaching.  I have seen some set up with Now, Soon, Never or Politics, News, Blogs.  You can have more than just three tabs, or you can just stick with the one homepage.

So, how do you sign up for iGoogle?  Simple!  Go to iGoogle. Click on “Get Started” and follow the prompts.  Once your account is set up, experiment with different themes and adding “stuff”.  Reset this page as your homepage so that you can see it each time you open your internet browser.

For those of you familiar with iGoogle, here is a tip that I just learned while at Google.  You can share tabs with other people.  You simply click on the delta on the tab you wish to share.  It will give you the option to “share this tab”.  When you click on that, a box will pop up with directions for sharing.  You simply type in the email address, choose what you want to share, and add a message.  The recipient will then be able to add your tab to their own iGoogle account.

How does this apply to the classroom?  I have heard several teachers who are using various gadgets in the classroom.  Those who teach kids under 13 (the age to have their own account) will use their teacher iGoogle to present information.  Many have election tabs that include countdown timers, quotes from the candidates, videos of speeches, campaign trail maps, and much more.  By using the tab sharing feature, teachers of older students can have a class each download the tab and it can become a classroom or virtual discussion topic.

For a couple of great tabs on the election go to Googlitics and click the links just under the picture on the home page.

Next week I will post on Google Reader.  iGoogle and Google Reader are the 2 Google tools I use more than anything!

Why Google Docs?

28 Aug

I will be starting my Google Gab soon.  Each Monday, I will post about a Google tool or application.  This will start on Monday, September 8th.  While looking up some info, I found this video about Google Docs.  Teachers, Administrators, Technology Coordinators, and students demonstrate the benefits of Google Docs.

Google Gab- Coming Soon

29 Jul

I started in July to discuss some of the Google tools I learned about at the Google Teacher Academy, since then I have stopped posting about it. Have I forgotten? Nope! After talking with a few people, I have decided to postpone this until Mid-August or the first of September. Why? Because it is summer and people don’t want to think about school right now! Can you believe that?

I will let you know when I start up again. It will be a weekly feature called Google Gab. Meanwhile, I will continue to explore all things Google, and bring the highlights to you soon!