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…

“Crowd-Creating” a Presentation With Google

Wanting students to work as a class to create a presentation is not a new idea. Some of my colleagues were talking about doing this in science classes by having each student creates a slide, emailing it to the teacher, and the teaching combining the slides into one show to then post on Haiku.  After some discussion, they warmed to the idea of doing the following:

1. Set up a Google Slide presentation (a title slide and one slide for each person or team if desired) that has permissions set to allow “Anyone with the link can edit.” (With this setting, up to 50 people could simultaneously edit the presentation.

2.  Post the link on Haiku

3. Have students create their slides (or edit designated “placeholder” slides so the desired order is maintained)


The result? A presentation created by all, able to be referred to by all, and no time required by the teacher on the back end! It might not seem overly flashy, but the idea is moving through our faculty and they love it.

Haven’t explored Google Slides much?  Here is a link to the Google Help Guide for Google Slides (Presentations).

Google & Images

These are fun. The first, “Guess-the-Google” is a timed game that shows a collection of images and gives the viewer 20 seconds to

accurately guess what search term was entered to get the given results. Enter as many guesses as you are able in the 20 seconds. Fun and, potentially addicting.

The second is called “Montage-a-Google.” This webtool allows the user to create a photo collage from a Google image search. The images are hyperlinked to their sources. Users can download their montage if they like what they see.  At left is part of a Congress

 montage I created (it is a screenshot of one section). This could be useful to create things like podcast cover art or a customized image in a presentation. A teacher could also use it as a set on the screen, create a montage us
ing a key term from the homework assignment or current unit of study, then, as students enter the classroom, ask the question (like Guess-the-Google), “What term was searched for which gave these results?”

Important to

note, both require flash (sorry, no iPad option at this point)

And we searched

My students have a habit of typing entire sentences into search engines, even Google (Ask Jeeves would be so proud). With that in mind, I set out to try to help them learn some tips for searching. I created this initial exercise. Most of the students did a nice job copying the questions into Google and hitting search. Their next task was to complete a reading focusing on the types of searches they were just asked to conduct, and followed up with this exercise which is almost identical to the first but asked them to utilize the search techniques addressed in the reading. Would you like to see the results? Many of them are posted here. I also asked my students to blog about the exercise. One of my students is really getting into blogging, you can read her thoughts about the exercise here.

I think I am going to incorporate an exercise like this into this spring’s classroom technology graduate class I teach for Saint Mary’s. Effective searching can help us all.