The Schoencast: Screencasting #autoCrat 3

Wednesday, June 22, 20162:51 PM

autoCrat is a Google Sheets add-on that’s been essential to my workflow for the past two years. Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in the release event from for New Vision Cloud Lab’s autoCrat version 3 at Google in New York City. I gave an ignite talk about using autoCrat to automate grading and get more meaningful data so that teachers can spend more time helping students.

It was a great experience; we heard from the New Visions team, Google’s Jonathan Rochelle, and I got to watch a dozen powerful, informative, and inspirational ignite talks from other educators. The event was filmed and I hope to be able to share more pictures and video soon.

From the New Visions event photographer

Until then, I’ll share some brief screencasts and tutorials for using autoCrat. It’s a complicated add-on at first, but has so much power and potential. I’ve separated this edition of The Schoencast into three parts: an introduction to autoCrat and basic merging, sending and sharing merged files, and a more advanced look at merge features and the updates for version 3.

Why autoCrat?

If you read the Schoenblog, you know how I feel about Forms and Sheets. They have tremendous power for communication, feedback, and automation. But without add-ons like autoCrat, that power is trapped into rows and columns of data that aren’t always the easiest to read.

For some tips on viewing form responses in sheets, be sure to check out the last episode of The Schoencast here.

autoCrat helps us make sense of sheets. The add-on merges a row of data from the sheet into a customized Google Doc template, creating one doc per row. It can also share and e-mail these docs to anyone, providing valuable automation of file storage and management. Finally, it can be customized with dynamic merge conditions, triggers, and sheets functions (along with other add-ons like copyDown) to meet a variety of needs. Basically, autoCrat will take your sheet data and help you use, organize, manipulate, and share that data in more meaningful and efficient ways.

For more, check out the screencasts below. Also, check out the New Visions Cloud Lab autoCrat page and their brand new web site. If you need help or have questions, definitely leave a comment or reach out on Twitter, but the autoCrat Google+ Community is a must visit, too.

For this return to The Schoencast, I’m trying something different. Instead of filming and editing with Camtasia, I’ve created three independent screencasts with the Screencastify Chrome extension. The videos are simpler, raw, and done in a single take, but they walk through important setup and customization for new and old users alike.

Check out past episodes of The Schoencast, too: formMule, Automating Tweets from a Class Twitter, and Tips for Viewing Form Responses in Sheets.

PART 1: Introduction to autoCrat and basic merges

PART 2: Sending and sharing merges

PART 3: Updates and advanced features

I hope you found something of value in this edition of The Schoencast. Give autoCrat or another New Visions add-on a try and share your thoughts and uses in the comments or on Twitter @MrSchoenbart.

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