Paperless Field Trips – Infographic

Paperless Field Trips

Click the image to enlarge

Field trips are an invaluable learning tool. But a positive learning experience takes significant planning and execution. One of the painful and expensive aspects is getting the necessary signatures from parents, collecting emergency information, medications and figuring out who can be chaperones.

This wastes paper, time & ultimately money. After getting the necessary approval from the principal/superintendent, teachers must hand out paper documents and forms to students (e.g. here’s Miami-Dade County’s packet of forms) and hope that students will take them home to parents, get them signed and bring them back. Of course, many students forget or they lose the form and teachers must follow up with students and parents.

Automating these parental permissions is easy with frevvo + Google Apps. It boils down to a few simple steps.

Teacher:

  1. Create a folder in Google Drive and a spreadsheet with student info.
  2. In the frevvo form, enter field trip details. frevvo will retrieve the list of students and automatically send an email to each parent with field trip details and a link to a permission form.

Parents:

  1. Click the link, review information, sign electronically and submit.
  2. If you would like to chaperone, check the box and verify information.

Teacher:

  1. The list of students and chaperones is in the spreadsheet. View it anytime!
  2. frevvo will send reminders to parents who have not yet signed. No need to chase students down.

It’s fast, easy & affordable. Check out the infographic at right and if you like what you see, visit our web site or contact us for more information.

How much paper do schools use?

How much paper does my school use? What does it cost? It’s not easy to answer that question but we’ll try.paperstack01

According to the NYC Government, the paper discarded during the school year in one NYC school added up to 28 pounds for each student, teacher, and staff member. A standard sheet of laser-printer paper of the usual thickness, either US “letter” size or international “A4″ size, weighs 4.5 grams. That means 100 sheets weighs almost exactly one pound. Put the above two together and you get about 2,800 sheets of paper per person every year.

For a district with 10,000 students, teachers & staff, that’s 28,000,000 sheets of paper. At Staples, a pallet (200,000 sheets) costs $1,400. So, our 10,000 student school district spends at least $200,000 every year on paper. And, that’s not even taking into account printers, toner & other supplies which could easily double or triple the cost.

Imagine ifflash-drive that was all electronic. If a sheet of paper holds about 2K of information, all 2,800 sheets would fit into about 5.5MB. For our 10,000 student school district, all the information would fit on this $24.95 flash drive and you’d have some room to spare. And, you don’t even have to spend 25 bucks – you can put it all in Google Drive with unlimited free storage for education.

And, it’s not just money you’ll save. You’ll help the environment too by saving 2,500 trees and 55,000 gallons of oil.

Of course, you can’t just stick millions of sheets of paper on a flash drive. The reality is far more complex but you can start chipping away today. It’s easy to reduce paper use with technology like frevvo forms/workflows & Google Apps/Drive. There’s simply no excuse for not getting started.

Interested in learning more? Contact frevvo today.

Green Schools – what YOU can do today!!

There’s no doubt that green schools save taxpayers money. But green buildings and iPads are expensive, multi-year efforts.

Reducing paper use is one of the quickest and most budget-friendly paths to a green school. Electronic textbooks and assignments are important but schools also use mountains of paper for simple, day-to-day activities like parental consent, field trip chaperone lists and various staff approvals (conference, leave etc.). For example, Miami-Dade County has 2350 (!!) active forms. The majority of these need to be signed and will end up being printed on paper and stashed in filing cabinets for years. And, they’re not alone! The California Integrated Waste Management Board estimates that 47% of school waste is paper.

General Permission (Spanish)

General permissions form in Spanish – generates PDFs in English & Spanish and uploads them to Google Drive.

With frevvo, replacing these paper/PDF forms and workflows with fully electronic versions is fast, easy and affordable. We’ve already built many of these and they’re super easy to customize to fit your unique needs. They can be signed electronically, routed to the proper person(s) and used on mobile. When completed, they can generate documents that can be saved to Google Drive or to a document management system.

Reduce paper and save the trees – one form at a time. YOUR school can do it too. Contact us to learn how.

Run YOUR business from your phone

Salesforce.com’s CEO claims that he runs his entire business from his phone. We all have smart phones and use cloud services extensively yet how many of us can run even part of our business from a phone?

The problem is that every organization still has those pesky enterprise workflows. The things we must do day in and day out – sign sales orders, approve purchase requisitions, refer patients, on-board employee and so on. Usually, this means printing, signing and scanning – a long, long way from running your business on your phone.

With frevvo, you can take a big step in this direction easily. Everything just works automatically on mobile. Check out the short video below.

Of course, your organization is unique so we’ve made it super easy to customize the forms and workflows to suit your needs. It’s all in the cloud and frevvo is affordable, pay-as-you-go with no long-term commitments.

Give it a shot to see how easy it is. You really could be running YOUR business on your smart phone sooner than you think.

The Paperless School – how will YOU get there?

Schools are drowning in paper. Student work, parent communications and staff communications all involve paper, copying and scanning. For most schools, going paperless means 1:1 education, e-textbooks and electronic assignments. It’s a fantastic goal and deserves all the attention it gets. But, it’s expensive & takes time – how to pay for $500 gadgets for each student?

What about the other aspects of how schools operate? Parent & staff communications use an amazing amount of paper:

  • Consent forms for athletics, directory listing, emergency contact etc. (Miami-Dade County, Los Angeles USD). Typically, these require a parent/guardian to sign the form.
  • Travel reimbursement, field trip approval etc. (e.g. see New Haven USD, Cabrillo USD). Typically, these are routed to a supervisor for approval i.e. to sign the form.

This is low-hanging fruit ripe for automation. For most schools, frevvo already has pre-built forms and workflows that can be customized in next to no time and deployed online. They can all be signed online, routed to the proper person electronically, used on mobile devices, delivered in multiple languages, generate PDFs, work with Google Apps for Education and a whole host of advanced capabilities. Here are just a few examples and you can find many more on our web site.

Emergency Contact Form

52 sec video

General Permission (Spanish)

General Permission (Spanish)

California K-12 Case Study

California K-12 Case Study

 

 

 

 

 

The paperless school is an eco-friendly, productivity boosting goal. frevvo can help you get there in a budget-friendly way. Try it free or give us a shout for more information.

Better Leave Approvals with frevvo + Google Apps for Work

One of the most common approval workflows customers automate with frevvo is Leave Approval (Vacation or Absence Request). There are several types of leave (Annual, Sick, Floating etc.) and the typical workflow is Employee -> Line Manager -> Payroll/HR. Easy enough to automate.

But, wouldn’t it be nice if the form knew how many days of each type were left so there’s no way for the employee to request more days than he/she has available? Integrating with payroll/HR systems is possible but messy.

Leave ApprovalAn easy alternative is to just use a Google spreadsheet. Here’s an example spreadsheet and a frevvo form that uses the spreadsheet. Based on the logged in employee, the form will pull the available days from the spreadsheet. For this demo, select an employee from the pick list (which itself comes from the spreadsheet) and you’ll see the available days pick lists updating dynamically. This demo only shows whole days but it’s trivial to extend to allow half days or even hours if necessary.

When the workflow completes and the leave is approved, frevvo will update the Google spreadsheet so it’s automatically kept in sync.

Yet another way frevvo helps you get MORE out of Google Apps for Work. Contact us for more information.

Using a Google Spreadsheet like a database

There are many cool and useful things you can do with Google Apps for Work like collaborative editing of documents, inexpensive storage and so on. But add frevvo to the mix, and you can take it to the next level and solve real business problems.

One example is dynamic web forms and approval workflows that treat the underlying spreadsheet as a database. The applications are endless – Sales Orders, Employee Records, Student Information and so on.

Check out the video below. It’s not even 2m long and shows you an example from Education. Teachers, administrators or parents can securely access student information stored in a Google Spreadsheet without actually having access to it. They’ll only see information relevant to their particular need, edits are controlled (e.g. data is validated, rules can perform computations etc.) and the user experience is so much nicer.

There’s much more you can do with frevvo + Google Apps such as signatures & workflow. Contact us to learn more or Try frevvo free for 30 days.

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