How Google forms can help with parental engagement

My district (heck I think the whole state) requires that teachers keep a record of each and every time I contact a parent or a parent contacts me. In the past I did this in a notebook but there would be a time when I didn’t have the notebook on me or when I forgot it at home and sometimes – the notebook sprouted some legs and went to hide somewhere in my desk

Now being a Google school I have devised a much better way to keep track of this. My first thought was I just make a spreadsheet and enter everything into the spreadsheet. The problem with that is that sometimes, I need to write a lot and the cell height or width may make it a pain to see what I’m typing. Then it dawned on me – why not make a Google Form and just enter the info there! I can even make a link at the bottom to submit a new form if I have multiple entries to add at one time.

See also: An administrator’s guide to Google Forms

The form

OK, here is what my form looks like in all its illustrious glory.

Yep! There it is in all its glory. As you can see I have fields for this information

  • Student’s last name (required)
  • Student’s first name (required)
  • Contact type (required)
  • Parent’s name (required)
  • Phone number (optional)
  • Reason for call (required)
  • Result of the call (required)

I should have put Reason for contact but I’ll fix that up for next year.

Now, here is the great part. Every time I fill out this form, Google automatically throws that data into a spreadsheet for me. It even adds in a timestamp (down to the second). So if I want to know how many times I called Johnny’s parents, I can easily go and find that info. Great. Check out the image below to see what it looks like. I have blurred out important information.


It might look a little crazy at first. Remember it is a record and a spreadsheet. I can sort by any column and I can of course search by hitting ctrl + F or command + F and typing in a student’s name.

See also: 5 new Google Forms features worth trying out

It has also been a handy bit of evidence when I need to get and administrator involved. They usually want to know if I have made a contact with someone at home. This here is my proof and tends to help build a case for more support from the counselor and administration.

Overall this works for me, I can access it from any computer/device with Interwebs and sharing it with colleagues is pretty easy as well. I like it! What do you use to keep track of your record of contacting a child’s home?

More from Tony here.

Also you should check out his ITBabble podcast.

See also: 5 Ways School Administrators Can Use Google Apps


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Tony Deprato

Educational Technology Specialist in Dubai.


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