During the dog days of July, between the time the old year has wrapped up and the new academic year begins in earnest, I like to take some time to pursue some of my own learning. This past April, I learned more about the power and potential of Google Apps Scripts. Google Apps scripts lets you create scripts in Google Spreadsheets and Google Sites to automate and amplify the capabilities of the apps. Example apps include being able to create reservations systems, event management complete with the ability to create calendar events and then sending confirmation emails, and the ability to pull calendar events and create new announcements in sites.
Wonderful examples of Apps Scripts are Flubaroo, a script that will allow you to create a self-grading quiz using a Google Form and voTer, a script that will remove duplicate entries from a Google spreadsheet that one can use for a voting system or ordering system.
For me, I am trying to see if scripts will allow me to solve two problems:
1. To create a Google Form which teachers can fill out for an assessment that they are planning and then populate one of four calendars, one for each grade level with that assessment. In the calendar entry, it will list the time that the assessment was added to the calendar. Once the teacher fills out the form and it is added to the calendar, they will get a confirmation email. We want the date created for the entry, so that if a student has more than two assessments on a day, they can see which one was added last and negotiate an alternative date for that assessment. This script will be running in the background
2. To create a script which will create a scheduling calendar, which will invite all of the appropriate teachers and rooms into a calendar. Once created, I will then play to see if this can be modified for rotating schedules (A-B block, 6 Day, 7 Day, etc.)
During my learning today, I was able to get a sense of the syntax, which is java based. I am getting the hang of the methods available and am adding. I have been documenting the steps, so that anyone else who is interested in learning more about scripts can hopefully follow along and learn how to use this feature themselves. I will let you know when I have that completed.
If you are interested in learning more about Google Apps Scripts now, you can watch this free Google Webinar or visit Google’s tutorial site (http://code.google.com/googleapps/appsscript/guide.html)