As I put together the Google Form for the student mock presidential election, I began to think to myself, "How can I display these results?" Even better, I began to think, "How can I display these LIVE results?!" And there came the challenge for the day. . . . .
So the government and econ teachers approached me to help with putting together their mock presidential election, which is done only with the senior class. Of course, my first thought was to use Google Forms! Perfect for this situation.
If you are thinking about using Google Forms in this kind of capacity, there are a few settings you should know about first.
Next, I knew that from the Google Form I could see a summary of the responses, but only those I shared the form with could see these responses. What if I wanted the entire staff to be able to view it. Or all of the students? And what if I wanted them to be able to see LIVE updates? I didn't just want to screenshot this. I wanted to have something dynamic. . . .and that's where my Google Sheets skills had to come into play!
First, I opened up my form results in Google Sheets, and I made a new Sheet. In this new sheet, I compiled the responses from the form responses onto Sheet2. To start, I renamed the sheet "Form Responses 1" to just "Sheet1." It simply made my functions easier.
Next, I used the COUNTIF function in sheets. What this function does is count the number of times a certain answer occurs in a cell range area. Take a look at my example below:
You can see that it is exactly the same as the Clinton function, only I changed the response it was looking for. The result was that it found this text 88 times in that row. So I went through and used this same function for ALL of the results, adjusting along the way as needed. For example, when I was figuring out the results from the US Senate race, the function looked like this:
You can see that I changed not only the text it was looking for, but I changed the ROW it was looking in as well. We are no longer looking in row B for this result. We're looking in row C because this is the next question on the Google Form.
After I was done creating all of the tables for everything the students were voting on, I created pie charts from those tables.
I copied this embed code into my website (I won't explain how because every website builder works a little different). By doing it this way, the results of the Google Form are refreshed every 5 minutes to give up-to-date results!
This took a LONG time to process in my brain, but I was excited to try out some new Google Sheets skills of mine! This was MUCH better than just doing some screenshots throughout the day.
Take a look at the video below for how it turned out! This was a great experiment that had a BIG learning curve! But I'm proud of the results.
I'm in the midst right now of studying to take my Level 2 Google Certified Educator exam, and along the way I have discovered a few things about Google Tools that have proven to be very useful to me. So I thought I would share them in this blog post. Just small things to make your life a bit easier!
#1: Alerts in Comments
We've all been there. A document is shared with us, and we notice that there is a mistake. However, we only have the right to comment, not edit. Or perhaps we are working on a collaborative document together, and I want to make sure someone knows right away that I need them to add information they have into the document. What I might do is open up an e-mail and e-mail that person to let them know to make the changes. However, there is an easier way.
This is an actual presentation that myself and two other teachers are giving at the staff meeting on this Wednesday, and you can see I tagged them to alert them to add in hyperlinks to their documents. I also alerted one of them that their link wasn't working. Both of them were alerted via e-mail and fixed the issue. Easy!
#2: Table for a Text Box
One of the things Word documents have over Google Docs are the fact that you can set in text boxes. I miss text boxes in Google Docs. At least we now have columns in Google Docs! However, we don't have those text boxes. If you just need a simple text box, try putting in a 1X1 table instead. I talked about this in an earlier blog post on Creating Better Fillable Worksheets for Google Classroom.
#3: Use Google Slides for a Document
#4: Preview Pane in GMail Labs
When our school went GAFE, I was reluctant to switch from Outlook to GMail. However, when I was on maternity leave, I forced myself to because I HATED the web version of Outlook. As I began to work in GMail, I found myself liking it more and more because everything was now seamless. However, I missed my preview pane of an e-mail in my GMail.
However, that all changed with the discover of Labs in GMail. Click the gear wheel in the upper right hand corner of your GMail and then select settings. Once you have the settings open, you will see a tab on top for Labs. In Labs, you can enable a Preview Pane so your GMail looks like the picture below.
This was MUCH more comfortable for me! I enabled it now for all of my Google accounts!
#5: Use GMail filters to streamline your inbox
This is an e-mail that went into my Spam folder for some reason. Frustrating because it was that someone wrote a comment in a Google Doc! So I want to create a filter so this doesn't happen again and it comes to my main inbox.
NOTE: I discovered after doing this that these filters do not go through your current Spam or Trash. Therefore, if you want anything moved out of there, you need to do that yourself. However, going forward messages will go to your inbox,
So there you go! 5 small Google Tech Tips that have made my life much easier. I hope you find that they make your life easier as well!
November 8th is fast approaching here, and I'm sure we all can't wait for it to be finally over! However, an election year does present us with a wonderful opportunity to discuss politics in a very real way with our students, especially with those that happen to be 18 and can vote!
I'm helping the government and econ teachers at my school hold a mock student election this year. In addition to voting on the major party tickets, here in California we have 15 state propositions to vote on! The teachers selected what they wanted to vote on (spoiler alert: NOT all 15!), and I helped to set up a Google Form for them. A wonderful new feature of Google Forms with GAFE is that it can limit a student to one response if they sign into their school account first. This works perfectly with the Chromebooks on campus. Students are automatically signed into their accounts, and when they put in the short URL, they can only vote once. If they try to get to the Form again, it will say they have already voted and cannot vote again. This is a big set up for Forms. Previously, you could only do this in something like Survey Monkey.
Since I helped to set everything up and at least one of the teachers is going to pass through here, I decided to set up a Presidential display. At first, I thought about just setting out some presidential biographies, but I wanted to garner a little more interest that My Life by Bill Clinton or Decision Points by George W. Bush would! So I introduced a little bit of presidential trivia. . . .
You can see in my pictures above that I created the display in our main display area and created small flip cards of fun presidential trivia that has actually piqued the student's interest over the past day or so that it's been up. Eventually, I will find room to post the results of the student mock election as well. You can check out my presidential trivia below. How well will you do?
You can access your own copy of this trivia to use here. This link will prompt you to make your own copy in your Google Account. Please feel free to use and share!
Until November 8th when we start to change things up. . . . . .
Jennifer Zimny has been a teacher librarian at Ponderosa High School for the past three years and previous to that, she was the drama teacher for 9 years. She holds a BA in Theatre from CSUS, a teaching credential in English, and a teaching credential in Library Media Services from Azusa Pacific University
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