As a part of my new position as a Professional Learning Partner, I have been tasked with creating certificates for professional learning participants. For many educators, certificates serve as more than a piece of paper - many use them to renew their licenses with the Colorado Department of Education. Originally, the process was to open the blank Word template of the certificate, and manually enter the participant name, session title, date and contact hours. I would then save the file with the participant name and repeat the process using 'save as' for each additional participant. Once I went through this process, I vowed to find a better way. I'm happy to say that I've found a solution, and its remarkably elegant. It's name is autoCrat.
autoCrat is a Google Sheets add-on that allows you to merge data from a Sheets file into a Google Doc template you create. You can then choose an export option, saving the file to your Google Drive and sending the file via email. This means you can literally generate certificates with the push of a button, given the right Sheet. As a result, I have decided to change my sign-in sheet policy for departments I support. Departments can either use an electronic sign-in sheet that generates the information I need, or departments can fill out a template with the necessary information. Given this change in policy, below is a comparison of my before and after process.
You may be asking yourself - How can I do this amazing thing?!?! I started by watching a great tutorial video by Jeff Bradbury. If you've never heard of Jeff or TeacherCast, I strongly recommend you check them out as great edtech resources. Below is the video I used to work this magic.
If you're interested in doing this in your role, there are a few things I learned in this process that you may want to keep in mind.
What time-saving tools have you found? Feel free to share in the comments below!!
Mattea Garcia is a passionate educator dedicated to improving instruction by utilizing technology. This blog is dedicated to reflections on educational technology tools, instructional coaching, and educational equity.