Friday, October 22, 2010

Google Spreadsheets for Voting Collection

Our middle school ran elections this week for Student Council officers. The Advisor of Student Council and I worked up an idea where videos of the candidates giving speeches would be placed in the shared drive so staff could show the videos during Home Room. Votes would be taken and then staff would enter the votes per candidate on a Google Spreadsheet. This went over very well so I wanted to share how we set up the Google Spreadsheet so others could use this idea in the future.

First up, you need a FREE Google Account. The video below shows how to sign up for a Google Account.

Once you have a Google Account, you can access the Google Docs suite by going to or if you're already logged in and at a Google site, you can find "Documents" on the top left menu of the page as shown below.

When logged in to Google Docs, create a new spreadsheet by going to CREATE NEW > SPREADSHEETS.

Set up and create the spreadsheet as you would like it to look. An example of what this could look like is below. A tip for creating a spreadsheet like this is to also use the FREEZE ROWS and FREEZE COLUMNS options under the TOOLS drop down menu. This will help if staff moves around in the spreadsheet so their names are still shown and so the candidates at the top are always shown.

To the right of the file name at the top of the spreadsheet is a link that says "Private to only me." Clicking this link shows who has rights to the file. Click CHANGE to change the rights as shown below. We chose the setting "Anyone with the link" which allowed an edit check box to appear at the bottom. We checked the "Allow anyone to edit (no sign-in required)." Choosing this made it so any teachers we emailed the link to could edit the spreadsheet without having to have a Google Account.

Clicking SAVE will take you back a window where there is now a web address that can be COPIED or you can click on links to share the link via GMail, Buzz, Facebook, or Twitter. Getting the link out to staff was easy; we sent the link to our teacher email list and explained that teachers would enter the votes at the end of the day.

From what we could tell, only the "owner" of the file can get to this link. Editors can not pass on the link to others.

As a tip, I sent out a quick message to the staff letting them know that when they entered their information, they did not necessarily have to click a SAVE button. I attached the screenshot below and explained that the spreadsheet saves every few seconds as data is entered. If all the teacher's data was there and the save area shows "SAVED" and it says "a few seconds ago," then all is good!

It was great to pull up the spreadsheet while teachers were entering their data! According to this article on the Google Docs help area, 50 people can edit a file at once.

This use of Google Docs worked great! My hope now is that teachers who weren't familiar with this type of use of Google Docs will be interested in using this again or possibly using this with their own classes.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE this idea! We're holding a food drive at school with rewards for the largest contributor. This would work great for that, too. Thanks for sharing!