Apps Script in the classroom

Friday, October 5, 2012 | 7:58 AM


Over the past few years we've seen lots of Apps Script adoption within the EDU community. Educators need lightweight systems that integrate with the Google Apps they already use. Empowered by a cloud-hosted and simple to use platform, non-programmers have been able to create powerful scripts that have a real impact on the lives of their students. In honor of World Teachers' Day we're highlighting some popular scripts educators have created and other materials teachers can use to get started.

Earlier this year we sat down with Andrew Stillman, Program Officer for Digital Instruction at New Visions for Public Schools and co-founder of We discussed about how he uses Apps Script to build solutions for the New York City school system. He's the author of many popular scripts in the Script Gallery, including formMule, doctopus, and autocrat, which he uses to create powerful systems that tie together Google Forms, Spreadsheets, Docs and GMail in a way that teachers and administrators can maintain and enhance.

Flubaroo is another popular script among teachers, as it extends the usability of Google Forms for online assignments. After students have submitted their responses this script scores their answers against an answer key, generates histograms of the class's performance, and sends out personalized emails to each student with their grades.

Even more exciting, however, is that teachers have been writing their own scripts to solve problems and make their lives easier. For example, Adelphi University professor Lee Stemkoski wrote a small script that he uses to populate a Google Calendar with the topics for each lecture he'll give during the semester. In just 30 lines of code he was able to complete a long, monotonous task with the click of a button.

Teachers looking to get a better idea of how Apps Script works and what it can be used for should watch our video Google Apps EDU Fireside Chat: An Introduction to Apps Script. In it we cover the basic functionality and use cases supported, and even do some live coding to show how easy it is to get started. More than 20 million students, faculty and staff worldwide use Google Apps for Education, so if you build something interesting and worth sharing, consider publishing to the Chrome Web Store.

Eric Koleda profile

Eric is a Developer Programs Engineer based in NYC on the Google Apps Script team. He's previously worked with the AdWords API and enterprise content management software.