by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 13, 2014)
Google's apps are receiving wide acceptance in the classroom. Elementary and secondary teachers in all grades are finding them helpful in streamlining their work, working with students, and reaching out to parents. Here's a great idea for that last concept—reaching out to parents.
There are often times when you need to get permission or guidance from parents as to how they want their child involved with a class project or what they want their child to do. For instance, you may need to know whether a parent grants permission for their child to go on a field trip or what time the parent wants to visit during parent-teacher conference.
Traditionally, teachers needed to create a paper form, give it to the students, hope they gave it to their parents, hope the parents read it and provide answers correctly, hope they gave it back to the students, and finally that the students gave it back to you. The process—time-honored as it is—is fraught with a lot of opportunity for problems.
Using Google Form you can bypass at least one problem area—the student. If you have the e-mail address of the parents, you can create the form and share it with the parents directly. Assuming they check their e-mail, you can get the form directly to them and receive a response directly back. (See Figure 1.)
Figure 1. Forms can be used to get structured feedback from parents.
Your imagination really is the limit when it comes to using Forms in this way. The key is to substitute the Google version of a form for any instance when you would have used the old-fashioned paper form. And, you can always use the paper version of a form as a fallback for those parents without e-mail addresses or for those who don't respond online.
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