Google Forms and Leaving a Domain…

Google_Forms_IconSo as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, last spring I left Totino-Grace High School. Of course I had been “all in” with Google and I admit, I am one of those who LOVES the things that can be done with Google Forms, so I had a lot of forms (700+) in my EDU account. True, some of the Forms weren’t critical, but many were unique learning activities and I wanted to be sure I kept copies for future reference.

When it was time, I followed the process recommended to me, Google Takeout, to back up all things Google. I also tried to copy everything into a new account, I’m not even sure how I did that, but I followed a blogger’s directions (I wish I remembered whose, I’d give credit here) and it moved all of my email but had random success in moving files from Drive to Drive. Regardless, I thought I was set. About three days after putting in the “Google Takeout” order, I had zip folders containing my 7? years worth of Google Data from the Totino-Grace domain. I thought I was set. I was wrong.

A few weeks ago, one of my new colleagues was getting ready to teach Of Mice and Men and we were talking about the 1930’s. I offered to share some of the materials I used last year to teach that time period, and I went back to my backup hard drive to see what I could come up with. Much to my chagrin, every Form was an HTML and CSV file and not in a format that I could crack and rebuild into a usable Form.

After a number of trials and errors, and knowing that I no longer had access to my old Google account, I reached out to my former Google Administrator who was able to put all of my TG files into a folder, and then share the folder with me so I could make copies of the Forms individually. You would think that could be done from the main menu listing all of the files as one can do with a doc or slide but, no. Because almost all of my Forms’ settings were checked so only those in the domain could view them, to successfully copy them, I had to open each Form, uncheck the restricted access boxes, and then make the copy while looking at the Form itself (granted, at that point, I might have been able to make a copy from the main contents list, but since I was already looking at the Form, it seemed like the thing to do at that point.

So I have learned. Google Takeout isn’t all it is cracked up to be, at least not for Forms, AND, if one wants to keep a Google Doc or Google presentation with Slides in their “Google” Form, go the share-with-another-domain-then-copy route, or everything will be converted to .doc and .ppt files. I do still love Google and what Forms can do in the classroom, but right now, I’m not the happiest Google camper. And, while I have learned, I am not yet done with my “Project Save My Forms” effort. Maybe by the end of next week, if I’m lucky…

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