One of My First Chances to Contribute…

This school year (2020-2021, yes during a pandemic), I started in a new district as a Technology Facilitator (TF). We began the year remote and were supporting not only the teachers/staff & students but also parents. One of the ways was offering a Google Form which allowed parents a streamlined process of submitting technology issues. I volunteered to work some of my Google Forms/Sheets magic to make it more automated and streamlined for the team. Since the same Form was being utilized across the district and each building’s TF needed to be the initial contact person with the families, I setup a process, based on answer submissions, to auto-generate emails, with certain links, to the correct TF. Here’s my process…

First we start with a Google Form. ***Note: this Form is a duplicate and will not be answered.*** Notice that there is ‘fancy’ fonts used from Cool Fonts Online where I could copy and paste so it would stand out. This idea came from one of my colleagues.

The data collected goes into a Google Sheet.

Using formMule, based on the answer to “The School Your Child Attends” a template email is sent to the TF of that school. Since the last column is our way of keeping track of the status, the email template includes a link back to the Sheet so we can update it. There is a second link included which took quite some time for me to figure out. When clicked it will prompt a gmail response back to the parent allowing the TF to quickly respond. Below are screenshots of the email received by the TF, the email response auto-generated to parents and an image of one of the hidden tabs in the Sheet which formMule uses to create this process.

One aspect which I want to improve/fix and for the life of me, can’t find an easy remedy is with the Email to Parent. Because it is a link (<a href…>) within the formMule template, I can’t create another link within it.

Also, click <a href=”mailto:<<Your Email Address>>?subject=Millburn%20Tech%20Support%20Request&body=Thank%20you%20<<Your Name>>,%20for%20your%20submission.%20I%20will%20be%20escalating%20<<Your Child’s Name>>’s%20technology%20issue%20to%20the%20IT%20Department.%20In%20the%20meantime,”>here</a> to reply to the parent. <i>You may want to edit the body, depending on whether you’re able to solve the problem or have to escalate and activate the hyperlink.</i>

I have to use %codes within the link to have pre-formatted messages. If I remove them, it looks like this:

Also, click <a href=”mailto:<<Your Email Address>>?subject=Millburn Tech Support Request&body=Thank you <<Your Name>>, for your submission. I will be escalating <<Your Child’s Name>>’s technology issue to the IT Department. In the meantime, please refer to our Troubleshooting Document.

We will be in contact shortly with a resolution.”>here</a> to reply to the parent. <i>You may want to edit the body, depending on whether you’re able to solve the problem or have to escalate and activate the hyperlink.</i>

I would like to not have the Bitly link typed out and have “Troubleshooting Document” linked automatically.

Any ideas on how to do that within this method, I don’t want to have to reinvent the wheel? Please add them to the comments below, thank you in advance!

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