Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Update on Google Forms for Cart Reservations

The cart reservation Google Form is a hit! So is the cart full of tablet PCs. I thought I'd share some observations a month later.

Take a Number
I set up a personalized URL at Tinyurl so that the teachers wouldn't have to type in the long Google URL generated for the form. We have to see who has reserved the cart and to make a new reservation.

Oops - Improvement Number One
I think I neglected to tell the teachers emphatically that they must go to the see-cart link first before reserving the cart. A few teachers thought there was a program with logic behind the form. They thought it would notify them if there was already a reservation if they chose a duplicate date and time.

Fix 1: I think most teachers now realize that they must look at the see-cart link first.

Oops - Improvement Number Two
The list is sorted by date form was entered into the Google system. I think some teachers were looking at the see-cart link, but if the date wasn't were they guessed it would be they went ahead and double booked the cart. If someone reserved the cart two weeks ago, it's more in the middle than the top of the list.

Fix 2: I was asked to sort the cart by date requested. Google doesn't seem to save the sort order. Next week I will have the teachers stop by for ten minutes after school to run through the Edit this link button at the bottom of the screen. I will show the teachers how to sort the list before they book.

Oops - Improvement Number Three
Google spreadsheets show up all out of line in OS 9 on the Mac.

Fix 3: The teachers each have at least one machine running OS X. They have to use that version of the OS to reserve the cart.

Overall Impressions
This is a great, cheap solution to create a form reservation for equipment in the school. Everyone can access the information from school or home. Teachers can quickly glance online to see who has the cart before them saving time wandering around the second floor looking for the cart. Once we get the sorting out of the way, this will be a great solution for the nine teachers who will use the equipment most often and for the rest of the teachers in the building.

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