Why did we do it? Collecting paper copies and manually typing information into a spreadsheet is a time consuming and boring task. By providing an automated way of collecting data through sms messaging the organization saves valuable worker time and gets a central records repositiry. It allows teacher not to be involved with the registration information gathering.
What it does. User sends a text message to a predifined phone number (provided by GoogleVoice. See below for more info). GoogleVoice is set up to forward the text message to provided email. Python script runs once a day on a remote server. It Reads emails, extracts user phone number and key:value pair and inserts them into the spreadsheet.
How to make it better.
- Implement sms sending. This will allow for better registration process. Users may be prompted with the info they need to put in. Paid service is the way to go.
- Allow users to correct errors in previously submited data and input multiple entries (case of multiple kids)
- Avoid hardcoded email passwords and spreadsheet column headers.
- Migrate away from spreadsheet to sql.
To get this to work:
- Create an account at GoogleVoice and get local phone number to recieve text messages
- Create an email account and set up GoogleVoice to forward messages to that email. Go to settings for more info.
- Modify sms_serv.py to read your email. ---line 78: type your smtp server name ---line 85: type your email and password (might need to avoid hardcoded passwords in source code)
- At this point it will work on your local machine.
- You may put it on pythonanywhere.com for free and set it up to run once a day to collect incoming messages.