Friday, October 26, 2012

Walkthrough Mail Merge for Multiple Users and One Form

As I sit in my office writing the blog post for this week, which is actually making up two weeks worth of posts, I am thankful for a wonderful PLN that gives me ideas on what to write about.  The topic for this blog came from the Nebraska Ed Chat (#nebedchat) on Twitter last night.  It also came from a question and response on types of scripts used in form that we like to use.  I was talking about some email scripts that were in principal walkthrough forms that ESU7 (#esu7) principals use and how we made it so one form can be used by a district and have the bcc on the email go to the evaluator.  Ann Feldmann (@techiefeldie) from Bellevue asked about if I had a blog post on it.  I told her I didn’t, but thanks for the idea and I would do one.  So here we go. (Sorry for the shameless Twitter plugs)

Mitch Kubicek created the script that most of ESU7 principals use for their walkthroughs.  So I cannot claim, nor will I, that the entire script is mine.  All I did was change one row for the bcc.

The original script for the mail merge was the following:

MailApp.sendEmail(rowData.teacher, emailSubject, emailText, {bcc: “”  } )

To make the change so that all principals in a district or building use the same form and collect the data on the same spreadsheet you make a sport on your form called observer.  Make sure you format the data in the observer list the same as you did for the teacher list. The format needs to be: (First Last)  If you are adding this to your form, make sure it is to the left of the email sent column, or the script won’t run correctly.  You will then need to change the previous script line to the following:

MailApp.sendEmail(rowData.teacher, emailSubject, emailText, {bcc: } )

One word of caution: make sure what ever is after the rowData is worded the same as you did for your form.  Otherwise this will not work.

Those are the only changes you will need to make to the form and the script.  Just be ready for the email to be sent out by the creator of the form, not from the observer.  So maybe in the email template add in the following line:


And make sure that it is spelled exactly or it won’t fill it in.  It will also be case sensitive.

I know this helped some of you, but others it may not have.  Once again thanks to Ann for the idea.  I enjoy learning from all my PLN in person and on Twitter.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Internet Country Codes

For this weeks post, I am going to stray a little from providing a new application or web2.0 tool.  This weeks post will also be a little shorter than most.

When going and searching out websites on the Internet, you may see the .uk on a URL.  Have you ever wondered why?  Do your students know why that is there? You might even know that is the code for the United Kingdom.  There are codes for every country in the world, and even some for world organizations like NATO. 

Here is the link to a site that has all the Internet Country Codes.

This is just a fun fact and could be an interesting bulletin board topic, especially in a computer classroom.

Enjoy the list.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Class Dojo - Classroom Management

This post is only a couple of days late.  I didn’t get anything done on this post last week.  I am not going to give you any excuses as to why, because we don’t accept many excuses from our students.  I just didn’t get it done.  However, I am here today on Monday, getting this post done.  So this week, I will actually be posting twice, hopefully.

Everyone knows that classroom management is a big time drain for teachers.  What if you had a fun and interesting way for keeping track of student’s good and not so good behavior?  There is a web-based, which has apps for iPhone, iPad, iPod, or Android device.  You don’t even need to be at your computer.  You can project from your computer to the screen and students can see when they have done something good or they are off task.  It can be used as a motivational tool for the students.  You even have the ability to e-mail parents the report of their child’s behavior for the week.  Student can even have a login to see how they are doing.  There are options for students to change their avatar once they reach a certain amount of points.

With Class Dojo, which is FREE, you can have as many classes as you need.  This is completely customizable, even down to the positives and negatives that you are looking for in each class.  You input your students and give them the avatar that you want to start out, either a monster or a critter.  You can even set the grade level and name the class.  Once your class is set up, you can print off a password for students to sign in, a different one for each student to see how they are doing.  Students would need to create their own account then put in their “secret code” to see your class.


Not only can you project the site on the board during class time, but also you can print out the results of the week in graphical form for you, your students, and their parents.  But you can email those reports to their parents.  This is a good way to keep parents in the look about how their child is doing well, and what they struggle with.  That is where the customization of the positives and negatives come in handy.  Parents can see if their student struggles with staying on task, talks more than they should, doesn’t participate, or something else.  The reports come in the form of a circle graph that show the breakdown of how points were earned and lost.   This also gives breakdown of how many points a student got in each area, positive or negative.  These are the reports that you can keep for yourself, send to parents, and even give to your students.

As I stated before, there is an app for the iPad, iPod, iPhone, and Android.  You will need to search the apps store for that.  In the iTunes store, the app will have the following icon.

Class Dojo, I feel, could be a wonderful resource for classroom management.  It will also give students the motivation, if projected, for students to do what they are supposed to do.  There are also ways of using the number of points per week as a reward system in class.  How that looks is up to you as the teacher.