I did a presentation at the COCA Conference yesterday with a good friend and we introduced our audience to the concept of Google Spreadsheets. The focus wasn’t about how to do spreadsheets but about how to do more with spreadsheets by adding the added power that comes with online collaboration.
Part of the activity involved updating a spreadsheet with current contact information for COCA members.
Not all of the invitations went to active accounts that people could use immediately. i.e. forgotten passwords, etc.
So, went immediately switched to Plan B and used a new feature with Google Spreadsheets.
In addition to publishing a spreadsheet for collaborative work, you can now post a form to the web. Why is that so exciting?
It’s exciting because you can collect the information anonymously! Visitors don’t have to be invited to the spreadsheet. They don’t have to wade their way through a spreadsheet interface either.
All that you have to do is provide the address to the form and your visitors complete it and submit. The results are piped back into your spreadsheet. Google Spreadsheets even includes a time and date stamp for when the data was entered.
Can anyone say quick and easy surveys? Collect info? No more hacking around with server side scripts?
This is very exciting and a potentially huge addition to your set of web tools because it is quickly and easily aggregated into a spreadsheet in your Google account. Download the spreadsheet or work with your data online. As we showed yesterday, it’s a snap to bring that data into Fathom or Tinkerplots for the power that those Ministry licensed products offered.
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