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Showing posts from October, 2011

Using Google Scripts to Move Data Like a Bulldozer - Forms to Documents

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As we gather more data using Google Forms and Spreadsheets there are a lot of questions out there about how we can reformat and share this data in a more consumable understandable way. In the last couple of months the Maine 207 technology team of Mark Ordonez and Janice Cacciatore and Hank Thiele have tackled this issue on several projects and as a result have created a reproducible Google Script that takes the information off a spreadsheet and ultimately creates a unique document that can be shared with anyone.

Our initial purpose of attempting this was not that exciting of a project, however it proved a concept that we believe will make gathering and sharing data in Google Docs a more powerful, dynamic, and interactive process. What we initially set out to do was take a spreadsheet with information about school payments and create letters that would be mailed out to individual families. This has developed into this repeatable process:


To make this easier to replicate we created a shee…

Gmail Message Translation

Here is a tech tip I just sent out to my staff:



I wanted to share a neat feature that Gmail Labs offers us for communicating with our students, parents, and community. You have the ability to turn on "Message Translation" which will use Google Translate to convert a message from another language to English (or to another language of your choice). Here are the simple steps to turn this on in Gmail (link).
Of course, it isn't as good as having a live native speaker translate for you, but it will allow you to receive messages in 58 different languages (and growing) and it translated. I showed this to a group of parents last night and they were empowered with the idea that they could reach out, in a language where they are comfortable writing, to someone at school. Even understanding that it might not be perfect, but getting a general idea across was possible, brought tears to one mother's eyes.
Please take a moment to set it up and ask a student or co-worker to help you tr…