Chances are that you’re reading this in your pajamas, during the last days of your summer break, and with your chin resting on your left hand! If that last statement was correct, give me a shout out on social media! Regardless of what you’re watching or doing, I know you’re thinking about the next school year. One of the things teachers need to do at the start of every school year is to collect and organize parent contact information. Your district’s Student Information System has all of this for you but not as organized as you would like it. Not only that, it’s probably behind a portal that requires authentication and is not very mobile friendly. No worries, Google Forms, Google Sheets, and I have your back!
In episode 111 of The EdTech Bites Podcast, I chatted with Shelly Sanchez Terrell regarding parent communication. One of the tips I gave in this episode was for teachers to collect all of your student parent contact information through the use of a Google Form. Upon submitting, all of this data will go to a Google Sheet that can be easily retrieved from any internet-enabled device. But why just talk about it when I can create it for YOU so you can have your own editable copy of this form! So here you go!
Step 1: Let’s Make A Copy Of This Form!
Before you make a copy of this form, make sure you are in the Google account you want this form to live in. More than likely, it will be your work account and not a personal one. Once you are in this account, CLICK HERE and you will be forced to make a copy of the form. Go ahead and click “Make a copy”. This form will now be in your Google Drive.
Step 2: Let’s Make Some Edits To This Form!
Check out the form and read through the description, title, and questions. Make any edits you would like to make. Another thing to think about as well is the confirmation message. In other words, what do you want your parents to read once they have submitted the form? Some people like to put something along the lines of “Thank you for your submission. I look forward to working with you for your child’s success this year.” To find this setting, click on the Settings tab of the form and click on Presentation.
Step 3: Let’s Make A Spreadsheet For The Data!
Once you’ve made your edits and you are happy with your form, click on the “Responses” tab. There will be a green Google Sheet icon on the top-right hand corner. Click on that and select “Create a new spreadsheet.” Make sure it has the same name as the form followed by (Responses) at the end.
Step 4: Let’s Send This Form!
Both your form and your spreadsheet are ready to go! Now what? How do we get this information to parents? There are a couple of different ways to do this. Before doing this, you need to make sure that your settings are correct. Click on the Settings tab of the form and toggle what you want on and off.
If you plan on putting this on a site or landing page, you will need to get the URL for this form. DO NOT COPY AND PASTE THE URL FOR THE FORM YOU ARE EDITING. THIS WILL GIVE RECIPIENTS ACCESS TO EDIT THE BACK END OF THE FORM. Instead, you will click on the purple Send button on the top-right hand corner and choose the hyperlink icon. You can now copy this link or shorten it as well. In addition, you can paste the link in another tab and create a QR code for it. This works really well if you’d like to post this in your classroom during Meet The Teacher night.
You’re all set! All you have to do now is wait for responses. The beauty of this is that the data can be filtered and organized however YOU want it to be. And, you can view it easily from your Smartphone without having to log in to a portal with 52 factor authentication. Enjoy, spread the word, and have a great school year.