Using Technology for a More Effective Organization:
Free Google Apps Education
Here is the list of four tutorials on the BigCat.me site: playlist of all four video clips: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=AD398FB8518A6EB8
These notes are in order of the video playlist above.
1. The google apps education platform comes with tons of templates and pre configured modules that you can customize to suit your needs.
I am looking to see if there is a way to save ours as a template for others to use.
2. It took me three months to learn and build the site, but I didn’t spend a lot of time on it until Dec. 2009. Can use right away and add features as needed.
3. Anything new has a learning curve but it has been worth it.
a. Training is efficient and consistant
b. Tell Little Dove story
c. Tell Cloe anesthesia story
d. USDA inspection; everything in one place, easy to print and go
4. Overview of the parts of the site I use
a. Information depot
b. calendars for work, training, events, staff details all overlay on one
c. Post observations about
1.) cats veterinary observations, like sneezing, vomiting, hiding
2.) maintenance of cages, dens, buildings, golf carts
3.) food left over w/ standardized sizes, and description of feces
d. quick links to Freshbooks to log their hours & other important pages
5. Build site and then created pages in the site with all of the instructions so that new people can just be given the link to get started and trained later if needed. Video instructions are easily embedded in any page.
6. The site is used as a central depository for
a. contact and emergency info
b. important updates like moving cats, cats who are ill & cats who have died
c. training docs are all stored here and easily modified and downloaded by the volunteers including classes, quizzes, maps of where all the animals are that they have to memorize, manuals on how to do everything we do, such as opening the register, talking on the phone, using software, all of our inspections and mandatory state and federal paperwork is scanned and saved there too.
7. Having all of this on google apps means we always have it in our pocket.
a. accessible from any Internet connection or smart phone
b. 2 way sharing of information: photos & vids of cats taken in iPhones can be posted to the site and updates on the site are pushed out to the iPhones.
c. easy to keep volunteers updated during surgery as I can post photos of xrays and videos of the cats waking up to the site so our people can be in the loop.
d. we don’t have to drag the cats files to the vet’s office as everything they have ever had done is scanned into the site and accessible to the vet care staff from any Internet connection. Make sure we microchip, know about anesthesia issues.
e. observation charts can be easily accessed to see how the cat has been acting just recently, or if they ate something they shouldn’t Haveman DVM
a. volunteers sign in from anywhere they can access the Internet, even phones
b. Op Mgr knows ahead of time if she will have enough help of right levels
c. Import spreadsheet of our current volunteers into her phones contacts so she can call, email or text any of them to fill in where needed
d. can limit who can see and edit each type of calendar by groups (explain how people are grouped)
e. all of these calendars, such as our different levels of keepers, partners, interns, trainees and then events such as off site events and training classes all overlay onto one calendar so you can see the big picture.
9. The administrator backend dashboard is where you can add or subtract volunteers, put them into groups, such as Partners@, or VetCare@. We have staff, keeper green, keeper yellow, keeper red, trainee, interns, partners, advocats and then specialty groups such as operant, enrichment, furball, board members. Weh promoted they are deleted from old group and added to new and can be members of several groups.
10. Site has automated gadgets to install, such as count downs for Fur Bally’s
11. Navigation can be edited into sections for ease of use.
a. external links
b. sub sites like enrichement, operant, board, vet care which can have separate permissions set with more latitude to those who run those mini sites
c. special pages are linked here for our organization chart, code of honor, FAQ such as why do we have to pick up sticks?
d. iFrames can bring any other web page inside your site and we have some pages like that on identifying poisonous snakes, toxic plants
e. the search function in google education sites is phenomenal and there is no limit on the number of pages, or sites and subsite you create.
12. Resource and fun for volunteers
a. we award our volunteers monthly for all kinds of stuff and it is posted here
b. blog for any volunteer to freely post to
c. contact info for all of their fellow rescuers
d. newsletter which is our meeting minutes from monthly meeting/training
e. post photos of them in action to share
f. tributes to cats who have died or volunteers who have left or died
13. The observations aspect is the most important part of the site for us. Because we have 100+ cats we broke this part down into four charts. There is a limit of 500 observations per chart, so periodically I have to replace the chart, but by saving it as a template, it saves all of the work I have done to have the cats names, species, etc.
a. food and feces chart to log food not eaten and weird feces
b. maintenance for cages, dens, bowls, buildings, a/c units, fences
c. medication charts which actually takes user to a sub site w/ limited access
d. observations the vet needs to know about like sneezing, vomiting, lethargy
14. You control the number of columns, what they contain and how they sort.
15. There is space at the top of each chart for instructions and to note ongoing issues so they aren’t reported every day on known issues.
16. On the maintenance charts I added columns for our Op Mgr to check off that she has seen the issue and to check it off as fixed when it is. The same is true on the medical observations. There is a column for Op Mgr and Vet to say that they know about it.
a. they can do this from their phones
b. Vet, Op Mgr, President and I all subscribe to vet observation chart which means the minute someone posts an observation, it is pushed out to our phones.
c. for non techie vets, you can print the list off for their walkabout
17. A sub site is set up for our Vet Care group, which is about a dozen of our staff and key volunteers. On that site, which is a link in the side bar of the main site they can:
a. see census of all animals, DOB, arrival date, sex, claws or not, mircochip
b. PVC Program of Veterinary Care is posted there
c. inventory of our medicines, with expiry and updatable as google docs so that every week they are updated based upon meds dispensed that week.
d. training docs and videos on how to give pills, darting a cat, using site
e. a dozen or so of our aging cats are on meds at any given time, so they each have their own calendar that details their ailment, their treatment program and then for the prescribed daily meds there is a box by each dose that is initialed, digitally, by the person who actually gave the med. They can also note if the med was refused. The vet updates these weekly or as necessary if there are changes in frequency or doses.
18. To Do Lists
a. after all the daily chores are done, the volunteers can check here for bigger projects that need to be done
b. chart defines the project, the level of keeper who is allowed to do it, the status such as has it been started, and allows keepers to add their names as having helped. They are rewarded in our awards sections for above and beyond
19. Section for our fundraising gala, the Fur Ball where committee members can
a. share spread sheets of items gathered, and needed
b. download all the docs they need to solicit and thank donors
c. post the minutes of Fur Ball meetings
d. read the instructions and see who is working what areas night of the ball
20. Training and Docs section is where we can upload into folders that we have separated into staff, volunteers, partners docs such as: MSDS sheets, monthly maintenance charts for a/c filters, pond cleaning, freezer checks that are done daily, the phone script, all of our training classes, tests, maps and minutes from meetings.
21. Video explains more of the how to: edit and create pages. Hard by phone.
22. Benefits of using google education apps for sanctuaries
a. provides ultimate care for our cats
b. keeps all of our volunteers in the loop
c. gives them Big Cat Rescue branded email w/ 7400 MB of storage
d. video sharing within our group that is private from outside world
e. enables us to share much more info that we would w/ world at large
f. information inside our group can’t easily be shared outside our group
g. anyone in group can subscribe to pages of interest to get immediate updates
h. for those who aren’t using gmail and google docs, these are elements we have used before google education apps and are great because you can share documents with others to view or edit, based upon permissions set.
1.) we use for staff meeting manager where staff updates daily what done
Used for 9 months and now wonder how we ever did w/o google Education Apps