Using Twitter for Customer Service

Twitter is useful for a lot of reasons and one reason could be customer service. I try not to "call businesses out" on Twitter because I don't want one experience to blow it for a company. So many things go "viral" that you could destroy someone or something by posting something online. Having said all of that....I did resort to twitter to get the attention of one company.

At FETC I signed up for a Square Reader to try out with our PTO. If we could accept credit cards for PTO fundraisers etc. we might be able to increase our fundraising. So I signed up on Feb. 1st and expected my reader within the week. Well, bring on "Snowmaggedon 2011." I assumed it didn't come because of the weather so I gave them the benefit of doubt. It's been 3 weeks.

The Square website was loading very slowing at school and that could have been a school issue and not a Square issue. After waiting 10 min to try to figure out how to contact them I resorted to twitter.

Well they got right back to me! I expect to receive my reader next week and I'll let you know when it comes.

The email was very nice and apologetic. Some of your experiences might not match this one. Twitter has a been used to bash service but in this instance it was the only way I could contact them based on the speed of my internet connection.

Before our PTO can use Square we have to find the answers to a couple of questions:
1. Is the credit card information stored on the iPod Touch we will use? If not where is it stored?
2. How much of each transaction do we actually pocket?

I wonder if Square will read this blog post?:):):)

Schmoker Focus Book Study and Online Discussion

ASCD book of the month is Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning.
I wish I could remember where I first heard mention of this book but after reading Results Now by Schmoker I knew any book by this author would make sense with me. Then David Jakes mentioned it in his Educon conversation and I knew it would be good. (I find myself agreeing with David Jakes often even if my tweets and blogs do not reflect that.

After reading the first 2 chapters today this is definitely the right book at the right time, at least for me.
I started a google doc to get my thoughts on paper and I am sharing that with you. Just remember that these are my own random thoughts that I want to be able to come back to and might not make any sense to you. It is a public document so you are welcome to add your thoughts. If I have time I will make look a little more organized. Or maybe not:)

A group of us will also be discussing this on twitter on the next three Wednesday evenings. We will use the hashtag #ascdfocus and you can sign up here. Hmmmmm? How will this affect my leadership? Will I be able to be transparent on twitter?

Image Credit

Parenting 2.0 FETC Presentation by Rita Oates

This presentation has some really good links and statistics to share with your PTO and/or parent community. (What tags do you recommend for this post? I will go back in and add them if you can recommend some.)

Parenting 2.0: How to Help Parents with Digital Issues and Fears (from FETC 2011)

iRover Interactive White Board "Station"

Putting interactive white boards in all "core" classrooms in the district was our superintendent's goal about 4 years ago. Regardless of your personal opinions on that topic that goal has been reached. During this process we visited a district that had a reputation of being on the cutting edge creating IWB lessons. My teachers traveled to this school for a full day of workshops. It was disappointing to find that all the lessons were created in PowerPoint and were basically retyped versions of the textbook projected onto the white board. I remember walking out of session with one my teachers and saying to her, "Please don't ever do that to our students."

Now that most of my teachers have spent at least one year getting used to the IWB's (Yes, they all have one.), my hope is that there is more student interaction and ownership of this learning device. One horror story I heard at FETC is that IWBs in some classrooms are covered up with bulletin boards.
Then I saw the iRover at FETC. Would this be the answer?

I still think it depends on the teacher but this is a really good concept. The iRover is only the furniture, or cart, and we would use IWB and projectors that we already have. At first I wanted to buy one for everyone right there on the spot. Even my instructional specialist saw the potential.

All of my teachers have writing centers that hold chart paper. This cart holds the IWB. It is important to have teacher/student created writing posted around the room. One concern I have would be if all writing were done and saved on the IWB and not displayed around the room. It is important to have a print rich environment.

In our primary classrooms our SMART boards are placed at a level the students can reach and interact with. So I ask myself this, if the boards are already at a level the students can reach and the students are not using them, is putting them on a different piece of furniture going make a difference?

If you are a principal, how have you implemented interactive white boards in your school? How do you monitor how they are being used?

Day One FETC - Florida Education Technology Conference

My district sent 7 staff members to FETC this year. Since PD funds are going to be cut tremendously over the next couple of years this could be our last big conference for a while. I am thrilled to be here due to a FREE plane ticket earned from last year's attendance at #colearning when my flight was canceled. Turns out, due to weather, I might be stranded here as well:) "Snowmagedon 2011" is hitting the Midwest as I type this post.
Advice for newbies: Last week I tweeted out a question for advice for newbies. Here is the advice I received:

  • Wear comfortable shoes (Tennis shoes don't exactly go with my outfit but I am in comfortable shoes:)
  • Do not miss the Shoot-out at 11:00.
  • Be sure to sign up for all the prizes.
I think that I can do all of the above!
How I prepared for FETC:
  • Scoured the website for a few hours this weekend. 
  • Added FETC website as a bookmark on my iPad.
  • Did a google search on he keynote speakers to help decide which sessions to attend.
  • Had a crash course in Edmodo. Edmodo will be the "back channeling" resource sharing site for the conference. Each session has a group number you join in edmodo for resources and discussion.
Now I am off to find the Shoot-out! You can follow me on twitter at @mmiller7571. I have found that things go really fast at conferences and I may not be the best "tweeter."
Tune in form more later.

And BTW this is #1 for @fliegs blogger challenge:)