My biggest pet peeves in teaching are having to fill out the same form multiple times, people losing forms, or having to transfer information from a spreadsheet to a form letter. In my opinion all three of these are not a good use of my time. I would much rather spend my time lesson planning, researching new ideas, or grading. Ok so I lied about that last one but you still get the point. Me spending time being productive is better for my classroom than spending my time completing forms. Enter Autocrat.
autoCrat is a free Google Form script. If the idea of using a script seems scary don’t worry. The idea of scripts used to confuse me. Every once in a while I would open one in a text editor and try and to figure it out. The cool thing about autoCrat is that you don’t have to understand scripting to use it! Andrew Stillman the creator of autoCrat has made it so anyone with basic knowledge of Google Docs or Microsoft Word can follow a set of visual prompts to set up the script correctly.
At my school I used autoCrat to create two different forms. For our Coordinator of Student Services, I set up a form that creates a completed detention form within seconds of a teacher assigning detention via our Detention Google Form and emails a copy of the form to her school email account. Doing this has saved her a lot of time and pointless paperwork. For our SPED team I created a Present Levels of Performance form that teachers can fill out online via Google Forms. In the past we have had some issues with assigning this form too late or with it being lost. By using an autoCrat created document it now is assigned via email, emailed to our SPED staff, and stored in Google Docs. In other words it saves time, paper, and headaches!
If you want to learn more about autoCrat or learn how to install the script make sure to check out http://www.youpd.org/autocrat for a video and text tutorial.