Posted in Google Apps for Education, Green Schools, k-12, Paperless Schools

[Webinar] E-consent for parents redux

This is a repeat of the webinar of December 10 in case you missed it. We’ve made a few improvements based on attendee feedback and look forward to an even better event. Join Nancy on this 45 min session to see how you can start implementing electronic consent in your school today.

E-Consent for parentsSchools routinely send paper permission slips and consent forms home for signatures. Busy parents routinely forget to sign them and send them in with their kids. And, teachers routinely chase down missing signatures or are forced to make disappointed students miss out. In today’s day and age with ubiquitous smart phones, it’s an insane waste of time and resources.

With cloud-based E-Consent from frevvo, parents can view and sign electronically anytime, anywhere from any device. It’s amazingly simple and affordable.

Webinar Details
Date: Wednesday, January 14
Time: 2:00 PM EST
Duration: 45 minutes (including Q&A)
Speaker: Nancy Esposito (frevvo)

Register Now

Posted in Google Apps for Education, Green Schools, k-12, Paperless Schools

[Webinar] E-Consent for parents

E-Consent for parentsSchools routinely send paper permission slips and consent forms home for signatures. Busy parents routinely forget to sign them and send them in with their kids. And, teachers routinely chase down missing signatures or are forced to make disappointed students miss out. In today’s day and age with ubiquitous smart phones, it’s an insane waste of time and resources.

With cloud-based E-Consent from frevvo, parents can view and sign electronically anytime, anywhere from any device. It’s amazingly simple and affordable. Join this short (45 min) webinar to see how you can start implementing these game-changers today.

Webinar Details
Date: Wednesday, December 10.
Time: 2:00 PM EST
Duration: 45 minutes (including Q&A)
Speaker: Nancy Esposito (frevvo)

Register Now

Posted in Green Schools, k-12, Paperless Schools

Why school technology projects fail

Cloud computing in schoolsLook around you – it sure seems that everything technology in school districts is a big, expensive & lengthy project. The rest of the world has pretty much moved in the opposite direction. Try a cloud-based, inexpensive pay-as-you-go service for maybe 50 bucks (heck, almost every one has a free trial anyway). Put something in production quickly and see what works.

Except in our schools. They’re stuck in the world of annual/multi-year contracts, lengthy bureaucratic purchasing procedures, technology ROI assessment etc. There’s no way to just try something out and see if it works even for $50. Yes, school districts have annual budgets and they’re getting tighter all the time. All the more reason for pay-as-you-go.

Large Technology projects mostly fail
Depending on who you ask, more than half of all large tech projects fail with the LAUSD iPad project serving [probably unfairly] as the current poster child. But, truly assessing the ROI of technology in advance is pretty much “fiction” and not just in schools. There are too many variables from training to process re-engineering to adoption. In practice, it turns into a vendor finding an internal champion who will “market” the vendor’s ROI to executives. And, in many large companies executives sign off on multi-year projects knowing they’ll be gone before the project is ever deployed. Companies, however, have wised up to the benefits of trial and error.

Trial and Error (or Think BIG but start small) works
Einstein may have been the master of thought experiments. But, for most of us, we try stuff out. From medical research to car repairs to diets, it’s part of our life. We adopt what works and discard what doesn’t. Software’s the same. Instead of the above-mentioned lengthy studies, just sign up online and try it out. Get a few people to use it – teachers, staff, or parents. Cloud-based software + monthly contracts make it easy.

Cloud and PAYG have huge benefits
The benefits are obvious and extensively detailed elsewhere from no upfront fees or lengthy contracts to zero installation to on-demand scaling to quick trial-and-error. The rest of the world is signing on at an unprecedented pace. Except schools – it’s 1:1 digital learning programs and flipped classrooms (translation: buy 10,000 iPads and change the way 1000s of teachers work). What about small-scale, quick and easy solutions?

We see this all the time – our customers in industry love cloud software, pay-as-you-go and pay only for what you use. Now, if only we could get our schools to do the same.

Posted in Approval Process, Forms, Google Apps for Education, Green Schools, k-12, Paperless Schools, Usability, Workflows

Are teachers dealing with too much paperwork?

School and college teachers, principals and administrators are extremely busy people. They’re dedicated to their students and would love to simply focus on teaching and helping students. Yet, they must deal with unnecessary paperwork for things like mileage reimbursements, conference travel expenses, leave approvals etc.

There’s a better way with Electronic Approval Workflows from frevvo. You can dramatically reduce this paperwork, free up time & resources to focus on students and help the environment. Watch this short video (less than 100 sec) to see how.

If you want to save money, help the environment and make life easier for everyone, visit our web site to learn more and get started for free.

Posted in Approval Process, Forms, Green Schools, k-12, Paperless Schools, Workflows

Let parents give E-Consent

Is your school sending paper consent forms home for parents to sign? How often do parents forget to send them in? How much time to teachers spend chasing down missing permission slips? How many times do students miss out because of lack of consent forms?

There’s a better way with E-Consent solutions from frevvo. Check out this short video (less than 90 sec) to see how.

If you want to save money, help the environment and make life easier for everyone, visit our web site to learn more and get started for free.

Posted in Approval Process, Forms, Google Apps for Education, Google for Work, Green Schools, k-12, Paperless Schools, Workflows

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.

Posted in Google Apps for Education, Green Schools, k-12, Paperless Schools

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.

Posted in Approval Process, Forms, Google Apps for Education, Google for Work, Green Schools, k-12, Mobile, Paperless Schools, Workflows

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.

Posted in Approval Process, Forms, Green Schools, k-12, Paperless Schools, Workflows

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.