Saturday, November 21, 2015

Using JotForm to Increase Efficiency in the Classroom, & Save Paper!


As a classroom teacher and in all of my professional roles, I've always turned to JotForm when I wanted to create forms. Although Google Forms is nice, it is extremely limited. Having the ability to add digital signatures, upload files right into the form, and use conditions (in addition to so many other great features) makes JotForm the most powerful form creator I've seen. I've been a user of JotForm since they were just getting started and were in Beta. I'm proud to be an advocate for this product and happy to share a guest post with you from Chad Reid, Director of Communications at JotForm. ~Lee



People will argue whether technology has done more to help or hurt the classroom overall. On one hand, students didn’t have cell phones when we were in school (and we all managed just fine). On the other hand, teachers have so many tools at their disposal to make the classroom more efficient and enjoyable, its difficult to deny the increase in efficiency, motivation, and additional learning that takes place when properly using technology.


JotForm does all of those things. 

JotForm is a do-it-yourself form building platform that’s free, EASY, and fun to use for collecting assignments, retrieving parent signatures, or even used as a self-grading quiz. Below are a few of the most common ways JotForm is used in the classroom:


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Field Trips Simplified
You could do it the old fashioned way, and no one would blame you. But sending kids home with printed permission slips has a myriad of drawbacks: delayed returned slips, lost slips, forged signatures, and lots of wasted paper. But alas, there’s an easier way!


Creating a permission slip form online and emailing it to the parents is the best way to ensure it’s delivered and signed by an actual adult. Best of all, add an "upload" button to your form and you get all of your returned forms instantly, and neatly organized, in the cloud. In addition, you will find all of your form responses conveniently in your email.


Then there’s the ease in which JotForm can help you collect emergency contact information for all of your students. You could include it as a part of your permission form to make sure all of your students’ critical information is collected ahead of time.


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Quizzes
Quizzing your students can be as simple as having them open a form. The best part? If you’re using an online form for a multiple-choice quiz, you can leave the instant grading to JotForm, and even share the scores instantly with your students. The scores are automatically stored in your JotForm account, and you can integrate the responses into a Google Spreadsheet to make it easy to find and sort for later.


Polling and Surveying Students
No matter the subject, polling your students can create fascinating dialogue in the classroom. For social studies teachers, you can survey students about issues around elections, science teachers can poll about hypotheses and theories, and English teachers can poll for sentiments in certain works of literature. Either way, it’s made easy using JotForm, where you can create visual reports using the polling data that you can share with the class instantly.


Group Project Feedback
Group projects are always a risky proposition. Is everyone involved going to pull their weight? And are you going to get honest feedback from the students to know that everyone did their part? A simple feedback form can fix that. Consider making the form anonymous so that no student feels the pressure of having their name attached to the honest feedback they’re giving about a peer.


Sign-Ups
Without printing a single sheet of paper, sign students up for theater, sports, committees, clubs, and any other extracurricular activity. And with electronic signature capabilities, even needing a student’s signature isn’t a barrier. Just make the form available from an easily accessible site, and students will be able to submit the information they need from home or the library.


These are just a few of the ways to use JotForm to make distributing requirements and collecting information easier. The product is designed to be uncomplicated and generic, so the possibilities for using JotForm is pretty endless. The best part? It’s completely free up until 100 responses per month.

Chad Reid is the Director of Communications at JotForm, a popular platform for creating online forms. He’s also a graduate student studying communication and lives in Oakland, California with his girlfriend and three cats.

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