Monday, June 29, 2015

Do Staff Meetings Better

I am here at ISTE2015. 20,000 school innovators all in one place! This conference is absolutely amazing and I am looking forward to sharing some of the great tools and practices out there that help foster student engagement. 

But before I dive in, I have been wanting to share a tool that is from outside of the EdTech world but that has potential to greatly improve one of the most universal components of schools.... the staff meeting! Yes, the lowly staff meeting.

Now staff meetings can be invigorating and empowering experiences - a time when teachers and administrators can dive into the 'why's' of their practice and leverage collective wisdom to become better. Or.... they can be an automated and dull roll call of bureaucratic updates and long-winded discussions that can meander well off of the agenda.  My experience is that staff meetings are usually somewhere in between.

Check out Do.com. This terrific service pulls your calendar events off of Google Calendar or Office 365 and builds a beautiful timeline. Find a meeting in your timeline and you can invite participants to add agenda items, add notes to the agenda items and share documents related to the agenda item. 

And Do.com goes a big step further. During meetings everyone see's a very well designed workflow of agenda items on a projector or on individual screens. As notes are added to the agenda items, they can be categorized as "Followup" or "Outcomes". This brings everyone to consensus on what is agreed upon and what needs to happen next. Really amazing! At the start of the next meeting, the Followups can be revisited to track progress.

There are other cool features like a countdown timer to keep meetings from running late, a place for private notes and the ability to export the meeting agenda (to satisfy the district folks for instance.)

And the mobile app (which is also beautiful) allows you to quickly send quick emails to all of the meeting invites - like an apology that you are running late. 

Try it out. And consider trying it out with meetings in the classroom too!

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