Friday, August 19, 2011

Another use for Google Forms and your iPad

I have difficulty with paper.  I know how to write, and can take notes, jot things down, doodle, and write paragraphs.  My difficulty is in managing many pieces of paper, forms, IEPs, and memos---stack of papers end up on every flat surface.  I'm getting better at filing, but still, it's a constant struggle.

When I discovered Google forms and google docs to use with the iPad, possibilities for going paperless in different areas of my day began jumping out at me.  One area was in taking attendance.  For those of you who don't know what I do, I'll explain here.  I'm a public school speech pathologist, so I really don't have a classroom of children such as the one pictured on the right (no one now has such a classroom!).  I do have to keep track of attendance of those children that I work with during the day.  Each child that I see has an IEP or intervention plan of some sort.  Legally, special educators are required by law to work with the child a certain number of times either per week or per quarter for a certain number of minutes.  Each child's times are different and attendance needs tracked.  Some therapists have a separate attendance form per child that they meticulously record the attendance on, but I have a lot of organizational problems with 25 separate paper forms--I often lose the form and fumble around in folders looking for the right piece of paper. It's a definite weakness of mine.

Enter iPad forms and google docs!   Last summer, I worked in the Extended School Year program, and decided to try taking attendance with the iPad.  If you do not know how to create a Google form for taking data, go to an earlier post here.  This post merely provides the reader with another use of a Google form with the assumption that you know how to make the form.

I first created the form.  This image is only the first three kids on the list, but on Google forms, you can scroll down to see all 26 children's names.  I changed the names, obviously.    Each day, I filled out this form (I did this on an iPad but it can be filled out on a computer if you don't have an iPad).  When you submit the form, it throws your data into a Google spreadsheet such as the one pictured below.  (I went into the spreadsheet later and added the yellow highlight just to make sure I did everyone's progress report.)  The spreadsheet in Google docs extends to the right for 26 children's names.

You can then choose to see a Summary of Responses by going into your Google Spreadsheet and looking under 'Form'.  The image below shows how your data can be automatically graphed.

This attendance form was easy to use and paperless. Spreadsheets can be easily shared with supervisors and co-workers.  I can add more categories during the regular school year such as the times children did not get their speech session due to meetings the therapist had to attend, or due to class field trips.  It's imperative that all special education professionals document their time and the children's time to make sure IEP requirements are being met.  Google forms and spreadsheets can help with this.


  1. Thank you for sharing looking forward to trying this out for next year!


  3. Unfortunately as the above link states, there is no good way yet to add a large header. You can, however, work around this by putting a lot of the information you need in a long title.


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