Wonder Wall for Google Sheets

Display responses from Google Forms in real time!

The idea sprung from a professional development meeting I was having on inquiry based learning (IBL). Several apps were discussed as ways for students to share their questions in real time. I immediately thought that using Google Forms and Sheets would be a great project. My friend Daniel Sharpe who I do a weekly hour of code with thought the same thing. So we devoted two hours to making it a deployed add-on in the add-on store.

Install the add-on from the Chrome Web Store!

Check out the project, and let us know how we can improve it!

After you have installed the add-on, the first step is to create a Google Form with the correct questions. You can create your own or make a copy below.

[su_button url=”https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1ufeASeFlwc-cJhV16FHtzgc4A_mgNQn8kn8iDyBofqg/copy” target=”blank” style=”flat” background=”#f37c2d” color=”#ffffff” size=”8″ wide=”yes” center=”yes” radius=”0″ icon=”icon: users” text_shadow=”0px 0px 0px #000000″]Make a copy on your drive.[/su_button]

form-setupNext, create a spreadsheet for responses and open it. Once you have done that, all you need to do is open the add-on menu and run!






The page will update itself every 10 seconds with responses. We tried to make it look like Pinterest or Padlet style sites. However, neither of us is that great at CSS styling. So we used Bubble CSS for the text bubbles, and a codepen.io project for the columns.

Send some suggestions to @rheajt or @get_sharpe, and feel free to check out any of our other projects!




The Adventures of Tom Sawyer… student made video games!

What is storytelling like in the 21st century?

Well, one of the methods of telling stories in the new millenium is through video games! As an English teacher in a 5th grade classroom with students who have never been challenged to write anything in a second language before, they are lacking in the ability to write stories.

However, they certainly have stories to tell! One of my students told me about the program Hopscotch that they were using in their tech lessons. I looked it up and found it to be a very easy to use, drag-and-drop programming app that we could use easily on the iPads. Since they had already been exposed to the app in their tech lessons, it was a simple transition.

The first step was talking with my students about what the “adventures” of Tom Sawyer really were. I decided that we would be trying to turn those into the video games. A few examples are:

hopscotch example
Tom is jealous of the bigger boy because he is rich and has nicer clothes.
hopscotch example
Tom and Huck sneak off to the graveyard together to try and cure warts with a dead cat.
hopscotch example
Tom and Becky get lost in the cave together.

As a project at the end of the year, I could not have been more pleased with how it turned out. My students had a blast putting these adventures into the form of video games that they could play on their iPads.

It has also given me ideas on where to take the concept. Learning about Hopscotch pointed me in the direction of other, similar tools, such as: Scratch, Blockly, and Stencyl. Finding these alternative ways to tell a story makes a great project!

Back to school and back to coding!

After an incredible summer vacation (see my post about the Google Innovator Academy, the huge American road trip across the mid-west, and even a short trip to Spain) I am back in the office and already knocking out some code!

A colleague asked me about a way to duplicate sheets inside a Google spreadsheet. He has a template for his weekly schedule built inside a sheet, and he wants to duplicate it for each week of the school year.

A very reasonable request, however, I wasn’t exactly clear how to do it. In five minutes I whipped together this little script.

A short explanation of the code:

First, you declare the number of duplicates you want. Second you create the spreadsheet object. Third, you loop over the object and each time create a duplicate of the activate sheet. Finally, run the script and watch it take away 10 minutes of manual labor!

In other news, I am going to start posting lots of code snippets that help me and my colleagues solve small problems and make our lives easier. You can help me out by making your own suggestions on my project site http://plnnr.net (work in progress, but you can still use it!) I would love to help figure out ways to improve teacher workflow!

My BreakoutEDU

I almost forgot that one of the most fun parts of the Google Innovator Academy was something that I didn’t get to share with everyone as we ran out of time. We were supposed to bring a short puzzle with us that would help us explain our stories as educators. We ran short on time and my puzzle didn’t get solved (along with another teacher in the group.)

So, I may as well share my puzzle with the group. I even wrote a little bit of code to to automate the process, though the puzzle is easy enough to solve without it.

The code:

The puzzle itself:

A single shift will reveal your clue, then the rest is up to you!

“uif bvuips pg uif nptu gbnpvt qmbzt pg fohmjti mjufsbuvsf xbt tjnqmz dbmmfe uif …”

The answer is a 4 letter word that opened the breakout box to reveal a clock! My story revolved around how I started to learning to code in order to develop my own content for the iPad program at school. Then that evolved into finding ways to programmatically save time as a teacher, and developing add-ons to serve that purpose.

Igniting Kids’ Enthusiasm for Coding

I started thinking that maybe this is not only interesting and useful for my nephew but also for other kids. So I started an initiative, CodingStuff.org, to ignite kids’ enthusiasm to learn how to code, to create apps, to design websites, and overall to become comfortable with technology.

Source: Igniting Kids’ Enthusiasm for Coding

I really enjoyed this article since it is very similar to what I would like to be doing more of in school.

As an update to what I am working on: Currently I am rewriting a number of the small applications I have created in PHP and bundling them all together in one place. The goal is to allow for Google+ login so that work can be created and saved to a users Google Drive. This is a ways off since the past month has been nothing but travelling and preparing for the new school year. I will start to find more time to work on it as the year goes along.

‘Gamification’ Is Dead, Long Live Games For Learning | TechCrunch

It was based on this philosophy of finding the game in learning: The core of the game would be the same activity as the core of the competency we were tackling. And for good measure, we took on one of the trickiest competencies shared with us by our GlassLab Teacher Network: The English Language Arts skill of Argumentation. If we were going to prove the possibility of uniting good game mechanics and learning of a common core subject, this would be it.

Source: ‘Gamification’ Is Dead, Long Live Games For Learning | TechCrunch

Coding blended in school lessons – Business – The Boston Globe

Interesting article about implementing programming into a school curriculum. And not just in math and science! English and art get a look too!

Beaver Country Day has launched a program this year to teach computer coding to every student, beginning with upperclassmen and eventually expanding down to sixth-graders. With leading technology companies pressing Massachusetts to make computer science classes available in every school system, Beaver Country Day is taking an unorthodox approach: Rather than teach it as a distinct course, Beaver is integrating coding into all of its subjects, experimenting with uses not only in math and science classes, but even in English and art.

via Coding blended in school lessons – Business – The Boston Globe.