Using Google Forms to Reach Out to your School Community

Overview

It’s one of Google’s most versatile offerings and one that educators have found endless applications for. Google Forms can be used for anything from assessment to just-in-time learning.  In this module we want to focus on some of the out-of-classroom uses of Google Forms and look at how you can use it to communicate and learn from parents, friends and the broader school community.

google_driveName: Google Forms – Google Drive
Pricing
: Free – Google Apps for Education
Compatibility: Desktop/Tablet/Mobile
Access: Google account
Privacy: Customizable (Privacy and policies)

 

A Quick Look

 

In Practice

1. Collect information to start the year

The start of the year is the perfect time to introduce new mediums for communication. Try setting up a Google Form to introduce yourself and collect information from the parents of your students. This could be emergency contact details, specifics about each student (allergies, interests, etc.) or it could be left very open for parents to share any thoughts or questions they may have.

2. Poll your parents

Keeping parents involved in their children’s learning and class activities is an essential part of every teacher’s role. Try creating a strategic poll using a Google Forms to send out to parents. You can use it to gauge the popularity of certain topics, brainstorm ideas and to help understand the values and expectations of your class community.

3. A more engaging class newsletter

A traditional newsletter is very much a one-way communication channel. Use Google Forms to open this dialogue and create a newsletter that updates parents as well as inquires for their feedback and thoughts. It’s an excellent opportunity to get immediate parent feedback that you can adapt and use straight away, rather than having to wait for the next face-to-face meet.

4. Digital permission slips and signup forms

This is a really neat idea from educator Stephanie Garner who uses Google Forms to simplify the often frustrating process of obtaining parent permission slips. Not only does this mean you have all permission information stored safely in your Google Drive, it also means that you can easily see who has not given permission and follow up prior to it becoming a problem. This idea can also easily be extended to creating signup forms for parents to visit, volunteer or get involved in your day to day class activities.

5. Students created forms

Try flipping the concept of reaching out by having your students create Google Forms to share with the school community. This could be creating interview questions for a project, opinion polls for topical issues or any number of data collection studies. This is a great exercise for students in digital literacy as well as a very practical way to begin storing and working with large sets of data.

 

Links and Next Steps

 

Feature image adapted from image courtesy of Flickr, theilr.

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