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Technology Tips to Make an Administrator's Life Easier  Wes Merta Assistant Principal Strathcona Christian Academy [email_...
Online booking of Parent/Teacher Interviews
<ul><li>Easy to organize </li></ul><ul><li>Parents waste a lot of time in lineups or finding their teacher </li></ul><ul><...
<ul><li>Less time wasted for parents </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of administration for the office </li></ul><ul><li>Families wi...
<ul><li>Very little administration required </li></ul><ul><li>Parents are frustrated “fighting” to sign up </li></ul><ul><...
<ul><li>Office staff setup the interview schedule online </li></ul><ul><li>Parents log on with school code and select inte...
<ul><li>They can choose the times that suit them best, instead of getting what they are given </li></ul><ul><li>They can b...
<ul><li>Set up interviews in under an hour </li></ul><ul><li>Our parents were thrilled </li></ul><ul><li>We manage booking...
Make a parent booking Manage parents Manage Teachers Set teacher breaks Print timetables Close bookings
<ul><li>Add teacher records and view schedule </li></ul><ul><li>Set up a new interview timetable </li></ul><ul><li>Add bre...
<ul><li>A timetable is made up of  blocks . Blocks can be on different days or before/after a meal break. </li></ul><ul><l...
<ul><li>Either... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Type in teacher names, year/subject and optionally their rooms on the  Add Teacher...
<ul><li>Individual teachers can be given breaks, for rest periods or if they are unavailable. </li></ul><ul><li>If a teach...
<ul><li>You can allow teachers to login to monitor bookings and print their own timetables.  </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers ca...
<ul><li>You can open and close bookings as many times as you like.  </li></ul><ul><li>When bookings are closed, parents ge...
<ul><li>Schools publish a password and booking information for parents (website, newsletter) </li></ul><ul><li>Parents sig...
<ul><li>Click on the teacher's name on the  Teachers  page </li></ul><ul><li>Click on the  Select All  link to select all ...
<ul><li>Kiosk mode  allows a public terminal at the school to be used for bookings </li></ul><ul><li>Phone bookings  can b...
<ul><li>The admin authorization (login) system has been audited and penetration tested. </li></ul><ul><li>Accounts are loc...
<ul><li>Flat fee – no hidden or additional costs </li></ul><ul><li>Covers 12 months unlimited use </li></ul><ul><li>Prices...
<ul><li>Free sign up </li></ul><ul><li>New accounts expire after a week </li></ul><ul><li>Fully working - no trial limitat...
<ul><li>Go to  www.schoolbookings.net </li></ul><ul><li>Either use the school code  DEMO2  for Imaginary High School... </...
 
Online sales of tickets
<ul><li>Web based program for selling tickets for events such as grad, drama, banquets, etc </li></ul><ul><li>www.inviteri...
Timetable creation program
<ul><li>Web based program  </li></ul><ul><li>Free trial for as long as you want  (you can’t export and print pages will co...
 
Web based documents
<ul><li>Online documents which serve a variety of purposes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sharing of information </li></ul></ul><u...
<ul><li>Wes Merta  (Strathcona Christian Academy in Sherwood Park, AB) </li></ul><ul><li>email:  [email_address] </li></ul>
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ACSI Tech seminar by Wes Merta

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Wes Merta's presentation at Oct 20 ACSI Teacher's Convention

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  • Different schools use different systems for organising parent-teacher interviews, but there are two main ways we&apos;ve come across. What we call “hall herding” is the simplest to organise, but it has several drawbacks. The drawbacks mean less motivated parents won&apos;t attend – possibly the parents you most need to see.
  • The “paper chase” is the most common system for organising parent-teacher interviews. It requires a lot more work from the school administration and teaching staff, and lots of paper. Parents prefer this to hall herding because there is some certainty about who they will see and when. But it reduces teaching time when students besiege their teachers at the start and end of lessons, and students can avoid teachers they don&apos;t want their parents to talk to. It&apos;s also a nightmare when anyone loses their timetable, or if a teacher falls ill the day before the interviews.
  • The “paper chase” is the most common system for organising parent-teacher interviews. It requires a lot more work from the school administration and teaching staff, and lots of paper. Parents prefer this to hall herding because there is some certainty about who they will see and when. But it reduces teaching time when students besiege their teachers at the start and end of lessons, and students can avoid teachers they don&apos;t want their parents to talk to. It&apos;s also a nightmare when anyone loses their timetable, or if a teacher falls ill the day before the interviews.
  • So existing systems aren&apos;t perfect – let&apos;s see how SchoolBookings can help out. First we&apos;ll look at how it works for parents. We&apos;ve set up imaginary elementary and secondary schools so you can see exactly how SchoolBookings works for parents. In a browser, go to the website, and enter the appropriate school code. This will lead you through three simple steps to book interviews for as many imaginary students as you like. It&apos;s worth putting in a real email address so you can see what the emailed interview notifications look like.
  • To reschedule bookings, parents simply return to the website and enter the school code. If they use the same computer, their bookings pop up immediately. Otherwise the system will recognise them when they enter their name and email address. These advantages mean you get significantly greater attendance at your interviews. You should consider extending your interview timetable to cope with this. You may find some teachers grumble about the increased interview load. But increasing parental involvement should be a goal for every school, and teachers should find the improved relationship with parents making their teaching more effective.
  • So SchoolBookings is good for parents – what can it do for your school? We&apos;ll look at how you set up interviews shortly. But because SchoolBookings is provided as a service, all you need is a browser – no servers, no software to set up and manage. You can sign up to the service and be ready to open bookings in less than an hour. And because parents actually do all the work, there is very little to do until the day of the interviews. Then you simply download, print and distribute the teacher timetables. Easy! We&apos;ll get to how much the service costs soon.
  • As well as using the icons on the home page, you can still access all pages using the menu. We won&apos;t go into all the functions shown above, except for one example – what happens if a teacher falls ill or is otherwise unavailable for interviews?
  • When bookings are closed, the admin home page shows the tasks you need to do before opening bookings to parents. The system will show which tasks have been completed by adding checks to the checkboxes.
  • The red help button explains everything in more detail.
  • The red help button explains everything in more detail.
  • The red help button explains everything in more detail.
  • The Teacher Login Settings page explains everything in more detail.
  • Once a booking has been made, timetable blocks cannot be deleted or shortened. This is because existing bookings may have been made for the times that would disappear. You can still extend blocks, by making them start earlier or end later. Likewise once bookings have been made for a teacher, you can&apos;t delete the teacher or change the name of subjects with bookings.
  • Once a booking has been made, timetable blocks cannot be deleted or shortened. This is because existing bookings may have been made for the times that would disappear. You can still extend blocks, by making them start earlier or end later. Likewise once bookings have been made for a teacher, you can&apos;t delete the teacher or change the name of subjects with bookings.
  • A teacher falling ill on the day before the interviews is usually a nightmare. The school either has to contact all the parents with interviews with the teacher, or endure the parents&apos; wrath when they turn up and find the teacher isn&apos;t there.
  • Inevitably some families won&apos;t have access to the internet, but you can still accommodate them. Kiosk mode can be used in two ways: schools can have a kiosk (outside the school office, or in the library perhaps) for students and parents to pop in and make bookings. a kiosk can be available on the parent-teacher evening so parents can book on the spot. Schools can handle phone bookings very easily with SchoolBookings. Office staff can access all teacher&apos;s timetables directly from their desks, so bookings only take a minute or two. And some schools take this a step further, pro-actively phoning the parents they most want to see. Because you can access SchoolBookings from any computer, staff can even do this from the comfort of their home.
  • We do not use SSL to secure sessions (except for credit card processing which is done on the Paymate website). The sensitivity of the data in SchoolBookings requests is fairly low, and does not justify the heavy overhead SSL would impose on our servers.
  • We hope you will be pleasantly surprised by our fees. Most schools say we provide great value, and a couple have even told us we charge too little. If you choose payment on invoice, we send your school an invoice that you can pay by direct credit or check. Unfortunately this must be drawn in US dollars so we can pay it into our US bank account. We apologise for charging in US dollars, but Canadian regulations make it impossible for a foreign entity to open a Canadian bank account.
  • No matter how good something sounds, people like to try it out for themselves. When you sign up, you get full working account that expires after a week, so you can see exactly how SchoolBookings will work for your school. At the end of the week, you get the option to pay via credit card or invoice – or you can simply abandon the account. It will be deleted a month after it expires.
  • So existing systems aren&apos;t perfect – let&apos;s see how SchoolBookings can help out. First we&apos;ll look at how it works for parents. We&apos;ve set up imaginary elementary and secondary schools so you can see exactly how SchoolBookings works for parents. In a browser, go to the website, and enter the appropriate school code. This will lead you through three simple steps to book interviews for as many imaginary students as you like. It&apos;s worth putting in a real email address so you can see what the emailed interview notifications look like.
  • Virtual Industries Group is a web services company based in New Zealand. SchoolBookings is currently (Jan 2010) used by nearly 300 schools across the globe, and is growing rapidly. For the geeks, Schoolbookings runs on multiple redundant Linux-based servers in the USA. The system is engineered to scale easily to handle growth without impacting performance.
  • Transcript of "ACSI Tech seminar by Wes Merta"

    1. 1. Technology Tips to Make an Administrator's Life Easier Wes Merta Assistant Principal Strathcona Christian Academy [email_address]
    2. 2. Online booking of Parent/Teacher Interviews
    3. 3. <ul><li>Easy to organize </li></ul><ul><li>Parents waste a lot of time in lineups or finding their teacher </li></ul><ul><li>Parents may not get to see the busiest teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Fewer parents attend </li></ul>Hall Herding: <ul><ul><li>Give each teacher a desk in a classroom and have parents line up to see them. </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. <ul><li>Less time wasted for parents </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of administration for the office </li></ul><ul><li>Families with multiple students get interview clashes </li></ul><ul><li>Parents are frustrated when they don’t get the interviews they want (little flexibility) </li></ul>Paper Chase: <ul><ul><li>Parents fill in a form specifying their preferred interview time and the office tries to coordinate </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. <ul><li>Very little administration required </li></ul><ul><li>Parents are frustrated “fighting” to sign up </li></ul><ul><li>Parents that come late are upset because they can’t get interview times </li></ul><ul><li>Many parents don’t come because they are frustrated with the system </li></ul>The Mad Dash: <ul><ul><li>Parents line up outside the gym doors just before interviews are to begin </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. <ul><li>Office staff setup the interview schedule online </li></ul><ul><li>Parents log on with school code and select interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Parents get a printout of their interviews and a reminder email </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers get a copy of their interview schedule </li></ul>
    7. 7. <ul><li>They can choose the times that suit them best, instead of getting what they are given </li></ul><ul><li>They can book immediately from their home </li></ul><ul><li>No danger of clashes for multiple students </li></ul><ul><li>Re-scheduling or cancelling bookings is easy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Leads to 10%-40% increased bookings for secondary schools </li></ul></ul>
    8. 8. <ul><li>Set up interviews in under an hour </li></ul><ul><li>Our parents were thrilled </li></ul><ul><li>We manage bookings from anywhere </li></ul><ul><li>We can produce neatly formatted teacher timetables </li></ul><ul><li>No servers, backups or other maintenance </li></ul>
    9. 9. Make a parent booking Manage parents Manage Teachers Set teacher breaks Print timetables Close bookings
    10. 10. <ul><li>Add teacher records and view schedule </li></ul><ul><li>Set up a new interview timetable </li></ul><ul><li>Add breaks for teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Set up teacher login </li></ul><ul><li>The little red help buttons are very useful! </li></ul>
    11. 11. <ul><li>A timetable is made up of blocks . Blocks can be on different days or before/after a meal break. </li></ul><ul><li>Set the interview length, in minutes. </li></ul><ul><li>Select the date, start and end times for block 1. </li></ul><ul><li>Click the Add another block link for additional blocks. </li></ul><ul><li>Set the number of interviews per parent. </li></ul><ul><li>Select the back-to-back interview warning if you want it. </li></ul><ul><li>Edit the interview confirmation message. </li></ul><ul><li>Click the Go button. </li></ul>
    12. 12. <ul><li>Either... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Type in teacher names, year/subject and optionally their rooms on the Add Teachers page </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows you to enter ten teachers at a time </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Or... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cut and paste data from a spreadsheet on the Teacher Data page (link on Teachers page)‏ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DANGER – this deletes all existing teachers! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Always use the Test Teacher Selection link after making changes. </li></ul>
    13. 13. <ul><li>Individual teachers can be given breaks, for rest periods or if they are unavailable. </li></ul><ul><li>If a teacher is given breaks for a whole timetable block, that block will not be displayed to parents when booking. </li></ul><ul><li>This lets you set different timetables for different sets of teachers. </li></ul>
    14. 14. <ul><li>You can allow teachers to login to monitor bookings and print their own timetables. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers can't change or cancel bookings. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers use the same username as admin, but a different password (the same one for all). </li></ul><ul><li>You can also allow teachers to set a limited number of breaks. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers can print out schedules in advance </li></ul>
    15. 15. <ul><li>You can open and close bookings as many times as you like. </li></ul><ul><li>When bookings are closed, parents get a message explaining they cannot book at that time. </li></ul><ul><li>Check your timetable and teachers carefully before opening bookings. Once a booking is made, you can't change some settings. </li></ul>
    16. 16. <ul><li>Schools publish a password and booking information for parents (website, newsletter) </li></ul><ul><li>Parents sign on and register </li></ul><ul><li>Parents book the teachers they want and the times they want </li></ul><ul><li>Parents receive an email confirming their interviews </li></ul>
    17. 17. <ul><li>Click on the teacher's name on the Teachers page </li></ul><ul><li>Click on the Select All link to select all interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Edit the email message if necessary </li></ul><ul><li>Check the Fill timetable with breaks checkbox </li></ul><ul><li>Click the Go button </li></ul>With SchoolBookings, you can handle this potential nightmare with just a few clicks: SchoolBookings sends emails to all parents to let them know the interview has been cancelled. Easy!
    18. 18. <ul><li>Kiosk mode allows a public terminal at the school to be used for bookings </li></ul><ul><li>Phone bookings can be handled quickly and easily by admin staff </li></ul>
    19. 19. <ul><li>The admin authorization (login) system has been audited and penetration tested. </li></ul><ul><li>Accounts are locked after 10 wrong passwords to prevent dictionary attacks. </li></ul><ul><li>Passwords are transmitted and stored as hashes to ensure they are not compromised. </li></ul>
    20. 20. <ul><li>Flat fee – no hidden or additional costs </li></ul><ul><li>Covers 12 months unlimited use </li></ul><ul><li>Prices are in US dollars </li></ul><ul><li>Pay by credit card (Paymate) or be invoiced </li></ul>School Enrolment Annual Fee Elementary Any size $150 Secondary 0 - 499 $195 500 - 999 $295 1000 - 1499 $395 1500 - 1999 $495 Over 2000 $595
    21. 21. <ul><li>Free sign up </li></ul><ul><li>New accounts expire after a week </li></ul><ul><li>Fully working - no trial limitations </li></ul><ul><li>No obligation to pay after trial </li></ul>
    22. 22. <ul><li>Go to www.schoolbookings.net </li></ul><ul><li>Either use the school code DEMO2 for Imaginary High School... </li></ul><ul><li>...or the school code DEMO3 for Imaginary Elementary School. </li></ul><ul><li>Follow the instructions. </li></ul>
    23. 24. Online sales of tickets
    24. 25. <ul><li>Web based program for selling tickets for events such as grad, drama, banquets, etc </li></ul><ul><li>www.inviteright.com </li></ul><ul><li>Price based on $2.50 per ticket </li></ul><ul><li>Works with online payment plans or in office payments </li></ul>
    25. 26. Timetable creation program
    26. 27. <ul><li>Web based program </li></ul><ul><li>Free trial for as long as you want (you can’t export and print pages will contain a watermark) </li></ul><ul><li>Excellent support (&quot;Jan Gottweis Jr.&quot; [email_address] ) </li></ul><ul><li>User friendly </li></ul><ul><li>www.asctimetables.com </li></ul>
    27. 29. Web based documents
    28. 30. <ul><li>Online documents which serve a variety of purposes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sharing of information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Surveying </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gathering information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Can be customized to meet your needs </li></ul><ul><li>Available at www.docs.google.com </li></ul>
    29. 31. <ul><li>Wes Merta (Strathcona Christian Academy in Sherwood Park, AB) </li></ul><ul><li>email: [email_address] </li></ul>
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