What can Google forms do for you and 800 students all at one time?

This post demonstrates how effective and informative Google forms can be when planning a presentation and delivering a presentation.

A few months ago, Kern Kelley, Alice Barr, Sarah Sutter, and I were asked to be part of a presentation in front of 800 MLTI students at a student conference on the University of Maine campus. After several sessions on SKYPE and planning with conference organizer Jim Moulton, the 5 of us, were going to present to an auditorium of 800 participants in an interactive fashion. How can 800 participants interact with the presentation? With Google online tools! Wait a minute! We know we have a hard time when we get 20 students in a classroom using a wireless access point in one room, we freeze up, have slow speeds getting to a website, but with 800, oh my!
Jim assured us that the University of Maine would get their best thinkers and doers working on this. Dr. Bruce Seegee and the fine engineers from CISCO took on this mission and would actually join us in the session to watch the bandwidth use and troubleshoot, if necessary. This would be a perfect opportunity for all the conference participants to observe what happens behind the scenes to make things work at their schools and for all to see that when using technology we always have a backup plan.
Our presentation was the final session at the end of a very busy and productive day. What follows is the information we gathered prior to the presentation. This demonstrates the scope of our project and the power of google forms to gather real time data. (I am happy to report that we were able to get all 800 students on the network during our presentation. We were able to collect real time data during the presentation while students filled in the google form (survey) and we presented the data as it was collected. Our students truly saw the power of the network.)

Our session was titled :

Block 3 - Only Google is big enough - Everyone, all together, one room, one session!

  • In 2009 Good Questions are More Powerful Than Good Answers - Google Super Session (Alice Barr - Yarmouth High School; Kern Kelley - MSAD #48; Cheryl Oakes - Wells Ogunquit CSD; Sarah Sutter - Wiscasset High School)Maine's own team of Google certified educators will be leading the whole gang through a series of activities that will demonstrate the power of the Google Toolset. Sure, we all use Google, but wait till you see what you can do when you understand how to leverage Google's power to go beyond getting answers and learn how to use Google to ask your own thoughtful questions of people in your class, in your school, around your state, or even around the world!

As part of the preparation, the five of us, created a series of questions in a Google Form, and sent the questions out to our worldwide networks, in 10 days we collected information from all our personal networks, and after some clamoring this information is published for all to share and use. Thank you to all who participated in our survey. We hope you will create a survey that we can participate in at some point in the future.

As we participate in the upcoming NECC conference in Washington, DC June 28 to July 1, 2009, let this kind of collaboration be an inspiration to you and act as a reminder, no matter how valuable face to face connections, our virtual connections can be equally informative and interactive. Create your own collaborative interactive survey and let the world provide the data.

Here are the data points distributed on the global map.

We had over 550 respondents answer our survey. You can see the points on the map indicating the participation that spread throughout the world. Our personal learning networks reach far and wide. A take away points:

  • Collaboration is a tool which will leverage the learning and opportunities for our students.
  • The data we collected will serve to make our students more global and appreciative of the power of all of us versus the power of one individual.
  • The process of collecting the data is viable for all types of projects.

Here are the questions:

The survey is no longer available for more responses! Please check out the data that you were part of in this collection! YOU now are part of this historical collection.

  1. How many hours a day do you spend at school for academics?
  2. How many days a week do you go to school?
  3. What time does school start for you in the morning?
  4. What time do you get out of school at the end of the day?
  5. What would be your ideal time to start school?
  6. What would be your ideal time to end your school day?
  7. Do you attend tutoring or other academic content classes outside of the school day?
  8. If Yes, how many hours do you spend in this additional class each week?
  9. Are sports or other club activities available outside the school day at your school?
  10. If sports or other activities are available at your school, when do they occur?
  11. Does your country provide free public education?
  12. At what age do children begin formal schooling in your country?
  13. At what age does public education typically end in your country?
  14. Where is your school?