Google Docs for Administrators – 5 Ideas to Get Started

'Reams' photo (c) 2007, pawpaw67 - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

As another school year begins to come to a close, I have recently had some of our administrators (mostly elementary) contact me with ideas for making administrative tasks more paperless and create a more efficient workflow not only for themselves but for their teachers.  Some of these have been regular “end of year” tasks and others are being put into motion in preparation for next year.  Given my known affinity for Google Apps for Education, and being we are a Google Apps for Education district, my first inclination is always to figure out how these tasks could be completed using GAFE in one way or another.  As I begin to help several of our administrators with these projects, I thought I’d start a post that I could come back and add to over time. They might be beneficial to you as a teacher or you might want to share them with administrators in your district. So here they are in no particular order:

1. End of year checkout form – we all remember this one right? The checkout form for the end of the year that has to be completed before teachers can leave for the summer. Why not use Google Forms to make the form electronic and send out the link to staff? The principal sends out the link to the form, teachers can fill it out as they complete their required tasks, and the information goes straight into a spreadsheet for administrators.

2. Student information collection – When I was in the classroom this was another end of the year task to be completed. We would need to fill out a student information card on each of our students to help provide any pertinent information (academic or otherwise) to next year’s classroom teacher(s).  Again, this has always been something traditionally done on paper, so why not give it a digital go? Our administrator created a Google Forms version, then copied it the appropriate number of times for each grade level so that the data would come back to separate spreadsheets already separated by grade level.  This information also helps the administrative team build next year’s class lists.

3. Staff communication – We all know one of the best, if not the best feature of Google Docs is collaboration. The ability to have multiple people working on the same document at the same time is a huge efficiency booster for many. Documents don’t have to be emailed back and forth or saved on a network drive where only one person can have the document open at a time. Administrative teams can now easily create their staff newsletters in Google Docs so they can be built collaboratively and then easily shared out with the staff directly from Google Docs. This not only helps increase administrator productivity, but teachers can have a digital copy of building communication delivered right to their inbox.

4. Committees – Again, Google Forms can come in very handy for this. I recently assisted one of our principals who wanted to create a form for teachers to fill out monthly with any specific concerns/needs for individual students that will go directly to the building student assistance committee. This provides the team with valuable information ahead of time prior to the referring teacher meeting with the team. Documents and Forms can also help any building or district level committees communicate and collaborate which builds a more efficient workflow for everyone.

5. Fun stuff – Since this week is Teacher Appreciation Week and schools, parents, and communities are showing their appreciation, it reminds us that some times we also need better ways to work to plan fun stuff too. This could be to collaborate on a document to plan for this week’s teacher goodies, or a spreadsheet to plan Field Day, or make a form to send out to gather ideas for an end of year staff celebration. This possibilities could be anything with this one.

What I think is also great about this is that there’s positive modeling going on for use of Google Apps for Education. Administrators modeling for teachers, which will hopefully lead to teachers modeling for students. Helping the production equal or outweigh the consumption. A snowball effect that will always be in motion.

Please feel free to add your ideas in the comments section! Thanks!

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9 Comments on “Google Docs for Administrators – 5 Ideas to Get Started”

  1. […] background-position: 50% 0px ; background-color:#222222; background-repeat : no-repeat; } kylepace.wordpress.com – Today, 9:46 […]

  2. […] background-position: 50% 0px ; background-color:#222222; background-repeat : no-repeat; } kylepace.wordpress.com – Today, 7:42 […]

  3. wkingbg says:

    Kyle,

    Great post with some awesome ideas? Would you be willing I share the doc for
    Teachers regarding concerns or needs
    For students? If love to see it and use something similar with my staff.

  4. wkingbg says:

    Great ideas! Would you be willing to share the doc that teachers use to report concerns/individual needs for students?

  5. Barbara says:

    I have used Google Forms to expedite the Add/Drop of high school courses once they are mailed home. I share the spreadsheet with our registrar so that we can make schedule changes a seamless process for all those involved. It saves students time by filling out the form online from home over he summer and there is a record of the course change request should there be any questions. All our teachers are using a Google spreadsheet template created by a faculty member to record curriculum. These will be our living curriculum guiding documents shared across all grade levels and disciplines. We continue to explore the uses of Google applications both as educators and students. Loved your list and yes, I have done the end of year Google Form which is a fantastic way to close he year with 45 teachers.

  6. Great ideas, I used a GoogleForm for end-of-year info like textbook inventory and other info. Below is the link. I entered all the courses, and used the skip to page function for each department so teachers could just select their courses from drop-down menus, so they would be consistent when sorted. Here is the link (FYI, Industrial technology is a dead link, so don’t try that one if you are curious…)

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/formResponse?formkey=dGZQcGpheG9FV0NxUHFpVkRRSEE4S3c6MQ&theme=0AX42CRMsmRFbUy00NjgwMGUxZC1iNjBkLTQ4Y2YtODNhYy00OTc2YWFiMjE2MzY&ptok=2742217917528511368&ifq

  7. Marcia Talkmitt says:

    Kyle… Have you posted anything about android apps that are great for education? Thanks ahead of time as I am new to your blog.

  8. […] barely over a year ago I wrote a post titled Google Docs for Administrators – 5 Ideas to Get Started. To date that post has been my most popular ever since I began blogging. So thank you to so many […]

  9. […] @KylePace, one of the best & most personable edtech gurus out there, wrote a great post entitled“Google Docs for Administartors” – 5 Ideas to Get Started” and followed up with a “5 More Ideas” post. Start your own Google Doc by creating a […]


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