autoCrat: Google Sheets Add-on creating merged documents.

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Who: Teachers who are looking for a way to turn Google Forms into merged documents. This documents can also be automatically sent via e-mail.

How: Create a form with questions (including an e-mail address if it is going to be sent out).

The questions will become the header row in the spreadsheet. The user will use these headers as the merge rows on their merged document, so the user needs to think ahead.  It is best to create the template that will be used first, so that you know what fields need to be added to your form.

After creating the form and template, open the Google Sheet with the responses.

Click on Add-ons, search for autoCrat, and install it.  You will need to grant permission. After this, click on Add-ons again, hover over autoCrat then click launch.

You will need to create a new merge job.  This is where is can get confusing the first time using this Add-On.  When you start a new merge, you will first need to select a template, this should be the Google Doc you created.

The next step is to map the tags.  This is where you will need to make sure that the tags from the header row match up with the merge fields you created on your template.

After this, you will then need to set up the merge settings.  This is where you can have an e-mail drafted to be sent to your audience.  You also select your naming convention here as well.   You can use the header row tags to merge information into the e-mail itself, as well as, select to have a Google Doc or .pdf sent to the recipient.

In the advanced settings section you can have autoCrat automatically run each time a new form is submitted.  When you are finished here, click save and you are ready to merge!

For those visual learners like myself, here is a great video by Amy Mayer taking you step-by-step through running autoCrat.

When: autoCrat is fantastic for creating certificates; either for your class or for professional development.  It is also very useful for creating invoices for summer programs or anything else your audience may need to pay for.  autoCrat can be a great addition for online registration forms.

Remind (formerly Remind101)

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Who: “A safe way for teachers to text message students and stay in touch with parents.” – remind.com

How: Teachers sign up for a free account. Then create a class and have students/parents join the group.  Teachers can have up to 20 groups/classes.  Creating an account is simple and quick.  Teachers can be up and running in under 5 minutes, ready to send their first reminder. Teachers can use the web interface or download the Remind app to their smart phone.  Students can sign up to get reminder through their phone or via e-mail.  Remind gives the teachers print off instructions to give their class.

When: Snow days, assignment reminders, motivational quotes, etc.. Anything a teacher would like to pass on to their students and parents.  Students need to be 13 years or older.

Remind (formerly Remind101) is a great tool used by many teachers.  This allows the teacher a safe way to communicate with their students.  Using a LMS is fantastic, but if the student doesn’t log in, they may miss something.  Remind allows teachers to send a message to a students cell phone.  We are sure they will be checking that!