For music educators - By music educators
Thanks Russ. The most useful part for me is the online forms dumping right into spreadsheets. Not only that, but this year we had a much higher percentage of students/families complete the handbook on time than in the past when we used paper. I think the ease of use is pretty high.
For us, the band handbook is a lot more than a way to gather student information. We also use Charms for that function and the many others it provides - we love the Charms system! Our handbook introduces families to the grading policy (and collects digital signatures indicating that information is understood), walks them through the online practice log system, and perhaps most importantly for us is where parents order band uniforms (shirts) and method books. Sorting through 300+ order forms each year and accounting money is a daunting task, so with the online orders I can avoid it all together and just edit and sort the spreadsheets. I only enter received money information. It has saved us HOURS of time that we can use to focus more on special projects, teaching and kids.
To make it simple, the most effective content has been the order forms. Not only do they save us time, but they are familiar to our increasingly digitally-literate community and save enormous amounts of paper.
Thanks for this opportunity to discuss it Russ. I would love it if folks had ideas for use of these forms and suggestions for improving our use as well.
I love this handbook. I have adopted a few items from it. Thanks so much for posting.