The Edcamp Foundation runs, you guessed it, Edcamps -- free, organic, participant-driven un-conferences that empower educators to maximize professional learning experiences and peer networks. In addition to facilitating the planning of these un-conferences, the foundation provides impact grants for teachers who want to put what they have learned at Edcamp into practice.
It's a concept that is catching fire, and with more and more educators experiencing the thought-provoking and inspiring atmosphere of an Edcamp, more were applying for grants to put their new ideas into their classrooms and schools. Edcamp’s former grant application process of a Google Form and attached spreadsheet quickly became overwhelmed with new data, as did its staff with the manual process of confirming, contacting, grading, and managing it.
“It was way too easy to miss something within the former process, just based on the massive amounts of sheets running around within Google Drive,” shared Justine LeDonne, program manager at Edcamp Foundation. “As we grew, we really needed a formal platform to store it all. Another painful point was the anonymity of the applications and those who were reading. Blocking the names and associated schools of those who were applying within a Google Form always created a huge organizational headache for our staff.”
“Our goal was to make the entire impact grant process for all participants (applicants, readers, and staff) more efficient and easier to navigate,” she said. “This included moving things onto one single platform and easily ensuring the anonymity of applications.”
Edcamp also wanted to integrate with their existing Salesforce database, having profiles for each applicant automatically created or updated as their information was submitted. “This streamlines a ton of work for our administrator,” said LeDonne. “WizeHive was able to link this up for us via Zapier, which although was a separate cost, was well worth it.”
As WizeHive’s implementation team began building the impact grant program submission portal and database, they also took a look at Edcamp’s current process and developed ways to make it even easier for their team.
“As part of the eligibility of our grants, you have to have attended one of our professional development events within the past year,” explains LeDonne. “Since the date of applications change as well as the events, this question on the application used to have to be updated routinely. We wanted the Salesforce integration to automatically do this for us, however this proved impossible. Then the WizeHive team brainstormed several different solutions for us to think over. We ultimately decided on using hidden questions within the application to manage this automatically for us.”
That personal service and dedicated problem solving is a hallmark of WizeHive’s customer service teams, which consider themselves true partners in each customer’s program.
As Edcamp launched their new impact grant application submission portal, their team was thrilled that this new, intuitive system was ready to make their day to day much easier.
“The administrative staff is very happy with this system, and the reviewers are finding the new platform much easier to navigate!” said LeDonne.