One of the highlights of the Google Teacher Academy is Ronald Ho's run through of hidden features in Google Spreadsheets. On the plane home I was thinking about how some of the gadgets he shared and how I could use them with my teachers. Here's a few I came up with.
The first is way for teachers to create a Flashcard gadget they can post on their site or blog. What excited one of my teachers specifically was the ability for her to create different sets of terms for different unit and put them on different spreadsheet tabs. That way, she only needs to alter the range (where the gadget pulls the list from) and her site is updated with flashcards for the next unit.
Next is a template for Book Entry. We have a requirement that students must read 25 books a year and the management of recording all that data can become overwhelming. This Booklist Template uses a Form to enter the information, and dates, counts and creates a graph of the data. Not the coolest use of a gadget, but useful. (BTW I went with the BookWorm in the Bars of Stuff Gadget, but I really wish they would have some more educational oriented images like books, apples or school buses. I think it would get used a lot more.)
Finally, a teacher was making a Word Find for elementary students. She wanted a holiday theme, so we put three words in the spreadsheet, (holiday, tree, ornament) used the Magic Fill for the rest (explanation here) and we had a list of 20 holiday themed words. Insert the Word Find gadget that pulls from the list and wahlah you have a Word Find to print or embed in a webpage. I did remind her that this pure unadulterated busy work but if the time she saved in making it translates into something more educationally meaningful, then I was all for it.