Sunday, August 11, 2013

Greta tries out Google Scripts

Twitter PLN and Google Scripts

I follow some amazing people on Twitter.  While Facebook is my family and friends site, Twitter is my PLN. I started to see some posts about Google Scripts and how to use them to control grading and paper load in class.  I was intrigued because I have "1:1" technology at my school.  Why in quotes?  The "computers" my students have are 6 year old Dell laptops.  They are fussy, temperamental, slow, broken down, and generally suck (the computers not the kids).

The problem we encountered last year with these devices was their constant affinity for crashing and losing student work. I began to look into Google Docs as an answer to this and soon learned that Google has a whole bounty of scripts to help me (and the kids) out.

After watching videos here:  Doctopus

Now I am not, nor profess to be a computer genius.  This stuff was pretty daunting to me, but I decided to go for it.  For the Creation Myth presentations, I decided to give this little Doctupus a trial run.  I also added in Goobric to give the students instant feedback.

I started with a Google Form and ran the Doctupus script.  It did involve installing Chrome on every one of my devices, but I muddled through it.  I showed the students on the IWB how I would bring up their presentation and then grade it.  They were amazed!  Here are some screenshots of my "conjurings" with Doctopus and Goobric. It worked really well.

 Screenshot showing how I bring up a student's link and then click on Goobric (upper right).  The rubric is filled out real time with comments and then sent to the student immediately.  I can re-grade as necessary as well.

Here is a screenshot of my results spreadsheet.  I can see the average score on each category and evaluate this data for areas to address.  I also have the Doctopus script drop down showing.  A few steps, but definitely worth it.

I would like to thank Jay Atwood for answering my email about the script and giving me advice on how to use it for large assignments.  

This weekend, I experimented with another few scripts called GClass Folders, DocAppender, and Flubaroo.  Introductions to these can be found here:

For the upcoming week, we are going to do a Folger Shakespeare activity.  We will be doing prompt books with Creon's speech from Antigone.  I discussed this activity in a previous post. It is one of the best close reading activities you can do.  I plan on having the kids use Google Docs for this so I can introduce them to the sharing capabilities of their Gdrive.

Let's see how the week goes!

Blessed to be teaching,


  1. Hello

    Im also trying out Doctopus for this first time this weekend but it is excepptionally slow. I have had to rerun the script serveral times now and Im not even 3/4 through my class of 84 students. One simple small Google Form Im uploading to each student's folder.

    What can possibly be wrong or is there a setting I can change. I have to restart the script continuously -- it adds two students or so and then just seems to die.

    Any assistance will be appreciated.


  2. Hi Andries,
    If you follow Andrew Stillman on Twitter, he mentions that Doctopus has been getting a lot of requests lately which is resulting in lag. You can follow him and ask him a question on Twitter about it. It went really fast when I did it.