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August 27, 2014
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Customer Feature: Ridgefield High School case study

I chatted today with Scott W  a student government advisor at  Ridgefield High School

And while normally we don’t put testimonials up to protect and ensure the anonymity of our electionbuddy votes, Scott had a pretty interesting story to tell and he was keen to have us share the story about their student government elections..

I had asked him about whether he will be using our new electionbuddy candidate shuffle feature, and he noted that they are considering, but they have (what I thought) was a GREAT tool to encourage student government participation early in the process:

Ridgefield puts candidates on the ballot in the order that they receive the student nomination forms.  It encourages participation, creates a sense of excitement prior to the election, and reduces the last minute panic!

He also noted that the majority of kids are now voting with their iphones, and 75% of the kids are adding profile pictures… who says that  ”selfies” don’t have a democratic use!  And they are using electionbuddy on a monthly basis, during their monthly advisory period, a great way to engage students.

Way to go Scott!  And for others that are interested, Scott and Ridgefield take advantage of our K-12 school pricing – so if you are a teacher or administrator of a K-12 school, email us and we will give you an electionbuddy discount too – we may even through a discount in on inviteright schooltools too!

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August 25, 2014
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Feature Focus: Customize your web link

What is a Form Link?
The Form link is:

* The web address of your form
* The address that you will share with your registrants / ticket purchasers
* You can edit this link at any time – even after you have launched your form.

Why use it?
We suggest personalizing your Form Link so that it is easy to type and to remember. In fact you can share this link with your guests even if you are not finished editing your forms – your guests will only see the Countdown to open page. You can also change your custom URL and direct your guests to a different weblink at any time, even when your forms are Live. Sharing the “hard link” (the link with the InviteRight event code) does not give you this option.

How do I use it?
You can add the URL right into your website, or post it in a social media group, following the steps below:

  • Copy and paste the URL that you have provided at the Setup stage.

Or if you wish to review or change your URL

  • Log in to your account Administration area
  • In the Actions button next to your form, click “View Responses”
  • Next to the Title of your form, click “Edit Links”

Title Edit Links

Once you have set your form link you can complete registration testing with your colleagues, by sharing the Testing link. 

  Edit Links

 

 

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August 21, 2014
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New Feature – Shuffle Candidate Order

It’s true, first comes first.

Believe it or not, the order of candidate names on a ballot has an impact on voting results.  “When the candidates are listed first, they have a real advantage.” said Jon Krosnick, co-author of the study and professor of psychology and political science at Ohio State, to the Ohio State Research Communications. ”Even in high profile elections such as the presidential race….name order on the ballot can make a big difference.” 

According to Krosnick’s joint study with researchers from Stanford University and the University of Chicago, “[p]ast studies of elections have shown that candidates whose names were listed at the beginning of a list on a ballot often received more votes by virtue of their position. In an experiment embedded in a large national Internet survey, participants read about the issue positions of two hypothetical candidates and voted for one of them in a simulated election in which candidate name order was varied. The expected effect of position appeared and was strongest:

  1. when participants had less information about the candidates on which to base their choices
  2. when participants felt more ambivalent about their choices
  3. among participants with more limited cognitive skills
  4. among participants who devoted less effort to the candidate evaluation process
At ElectionBuddywe are very sensitive to maintaining the integrity of our elections, which is why we have introduced a new feature that allows you the option to “shuffle” your candidate order randomly for each voter.  If you have the feature enabled, each voter will see a different ballot with a unique ordering of candidates – with one exception that abstain will still always appear at the bottom.Send us your feedback and let us know what you think of this new feature and this peculiar social psychology phenomenon!

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August 20, 2014
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The Extraordinary Mystery of the Missing Back-to-School Student Registration Line-up

A student prepares for his September course registration, as always, an hour before the registration begins. But this year his school has decided to dismantle the long lineups and accept registrations online. Where previously there was a lengthy paper document overflowing with course listings, when he arrives online, he’s met with a single entry field – Student ID.

He enters his ID and in seconds the form comes alive and several pieces of his student information filling up the form. He hardly has to do anything as his information is pre-filled: Parent Guardian Contact Information, Course Selections from the previous year, even his Locker Number. He proceeds to update and make changes to some of the seeded selections. Try as he may, others fields are “locked” – like his library fines.

He scans through the form and clicks to proceed to the next screen where all of his selections are summarized and ready for a single payment by credit card, Visa Debit or Interac Online…he dials his mother for her authorization number on the back (as he’s already memorized the sixteen digits on the front).

Welcome to the new world of InviteRight SchoolTools 6.0.
Stay tuned to our blog as we will continue to share more information about our newest membership list features and how your school and district can now setup a registration online and “seed” and pre-fill responses for any student.

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August 14, 2014
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Preview the upcoming release of InviteRight v6.0

Coming on nearly 1st anniversary of our monumental release InviteRight v5.0 comes our newest version of InviteRight.
Here are some of the major changes that we’ve made:

1. Simplified Setup stage
You’ll be able to create and launch forms more quickly now that we’ve re-organized the Setup stage and reduced the number of questions you need to answer. We’ve also broken it into two simple sections – your Settings (accepting payment? using tickets?) and Details (When, Where, Title etc). 

We don’t want you to have to scroll through settings and questions that you’re not concerned about. Instead we want you to spend more time where you’re most comfortable – in the “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” Edit stage where you can easily drag and drop items as you please.

2. Easy On/Off switches for settings
Never use our InviteRight Email invitation feature? Now you can just turn it off and you won’t see appear in the Edit stage. Again, we want to remove the distractions and help you focus on your forms. As they say, less is more.
You can also now differentiate between Events and Forms – meaning you can now use InviteRight to convert that “Emergency Contact” sheet into an online form.

 

3. Everything you need at Edit
Now you’ll be able to change all sorts of settings (such as all your dates and times) right from the Edit stage, using our Settings & Details links at the top, without having to return back to Setup.

 

4. Smart Warnings
We want your forms to be perfect at launch time so we built warnings to help you catch items that you may have missed.

This is just the tip of the iceberg – we have many more features we’re excited to share with you soon. Be sure to check our blog for more updates!

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June 23, 2014
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Happy

Congrats to our friends at Salisbury Composite High School and all the happy 2014 Grads!

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June 23, 2014
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2014 Scholarship Winners react to announcement

Megan Funke - Making Grad Great Scholarship
“Winning the “Make Grad Great!” scholarship has truly been an honor. Having my time, effort, and dedication that I put into my graduation acknowledged has been a wonderful opportunity to allow me to continue on my education journey to one day become an engineer. It was gratifying to see the work I did make a difference at my grad and with the school community and I am very thankful for EventIQ for recognizing my achievements.”

Erica Mitchell – Acting Out Scholarship
“I was elated, my first response was to share the blog post with all of the teachers and colleagues that have helped me get to where I am today in regards to theatre. Wining the scholarship is super helpful in paying for university (I knew it would be expensive, just not THIS expensive). Not to mention it is one step forward for mankind in proving that acting out isn’t such a bad thing. I am thankful to all of those who put their time and effort into choosing the winner for this year’s “Acting out Grad Scholarship”.

 Madeline Morris – Sweat Your Way to Grad Scholarship
“Thank you it is an honour to have received this scholarship, I am both amazed and pleased!  In regards to where I’m off to next year, I’ll be attending Queen’s University and have landed myself a spot on the women’s basketball team. I look forward to continuing my educational and athletic journey, thanks to the guidance and support of Mrs. Rice. Thank you again.”

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June 20, 2014
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2014 SchoolTools Scholarship Winners

It just gets bigger and better every single year. Over 150 students across Canada shared their amazing stories of graduation nights to remember, athletic triumphs and standing ovations with the SchoolTools team. Needless to say selecting a winner in each category was a tremendous challenge. We thank each and every one of the students that participated and all of the teachers that inspired them to their greatness.

And now the moment you’ve been waiting for – the winner and 1st runner up to each of the three 2014 InviteRight SchoolTools Scholarships!

MAKING GRAD GREAT SCHOLARSHIP
WINNER
Megan Funke – St. Joseph High School
Edmonton, Alberta

Mentor – Rachel MacLeod – Grad Committee Teacher
“Seven Hundred Roses”
Over 700 hours. This is how long it took Megan Funke to make over 700 paper rose decorations from discarded English novels by hand for the over 100 tables at the St. Joseph’s High School graduation. But the results were without question were absolutely astounding.

Megan: This year, the St. Joseph’s grad committee was made up of nine grad teachers, ten students, and three grade eleven helpers. Together as a committee, we were able to make this year’s grad the best it has ever been. Each teacher put in an immense amount of effort in order to make grad possible and I want to thank each one of them for their commitment, dedication, and hard work they put in especially a special thanks to Mrs. MacLeod who functioned as one of the grad committee leaders and really helped to make grad possible.  I also want to thank the rest of the students in grade committee. We spent hours working to make our grad wonderful with all of our fundraising, social media updates, suggestions and ideas, images, and the other countless tasks we completed. Grad was a fantastic experience and it was because of our committee’s hard work

1st RUNNER UP
Jake Sheardown – Hunting Hills High School
Red Deer, Alberta

Mentor – Daniel Brady – Grad Advisor/English Teacher
“Whistle while you work”
I am always impressed by Jake’s willingness to contribute his time and energy, but what has struck me even more so is how he remains positive and ebullient. Looking back on the year I can honestly say that Jake’s positivty and “can-do attitude” were integral in the success of each and every event our executive sponsored.

ACTING OUT SCHOLARSHIP
WINNER
Erica Mitchell – Miles Macdonell Collegiate
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Mentor – Carrie Gillis – Drama & IB Theatre Teacher
“Passion”
Erica dedicates herself to the theatre as a tribute to her late friend Abbey Ruchkall, who passed away suddenly the year before at the age of 19. Their shared passion for the theatre keeps her legacy alive in the Miles Macdonell theatre. Each time the curtain rises, Erica is reminded of Abbey’s  encouraging words – “she told me to do whatever I loved and not to care what anyone else says. I love theatre; this is what I will do with my life.”

Erica: I would like to extend my thank you’s to: Mrs. Carrie Gillis, Mrs. Shelly Lichtman, Mr. Mike Neale – for all that they have helped me within and withoutschool over the last 3 years.
Also, Connor Wielgosz and the WPG Fringe Festival for all the fabulous opportunities. And of course, Abbey Ruchkall for all the advice in the two years I knew her.

1st RUNNER UP
Zachary Holden – Crescent Heights High School
Calgary, Alberta

Mentor - Nicole Taylor – English Teacher
“View from the Top”
“I have also been very impressed with the kindness that Zach has shown to all his peers, he works very well with a variety of other students and is a thoughtful and compassionate leader among them. He is always willing to lend an extra hand and share his great sense of humour. Zach has always been artist and I really have seen him grow and flourish in his confidence with his abilities and willingness to share his talents. I truly believe that Zachary has much to contribute and has been a positive force within our school.”

SWEAT YOUR WAY TO GRAD SCHOLARSHIP
WINNER
Madeline Morris – Rideau District High School
Elgin, Ontario

Mentor - Lisa Rice – Athletic Director
“Peer Support”
I compete not only for my team and myself but also for my school. I am proud to compete for of my school at home games. I give energy to the spectators who cheer for us and in return receive energy from the crowd, which raises our competitiveness.”

Madeline: I’ve known Mrs. Rice as a teacher for the 4 years that I’ve attended Rideau DHS. Regardless of winning the scholarship, she has helped me immensely with my academics, athletics and has helped guide me to my next stage in life. She is passionate about bringing out the best in her students. I feel so lucky to have had her be part of my high school experience. Rideau District HS is a very lucky school to have her.

1st RUNNER UP
Byron Keturakis – Earl Marriott Secondary
Surrey, BC

Mentor – Taylor Clift – Athletic Director
“Radiating Passion on and off the bench”
“I learned to be a great teammate by supporting others” says Byron. “I also learned that it takes a great amount of hard work and commitment and this fueled my drive to succeed.”

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June 19, 2014
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A welcome pedicure for Canada’s Best Graduation Coordinator of 2014

This year we wanted to do something special in recognition of all the tireless teacher volunteers that help to make graduation an amazing event for students each and every year. So we put it out to all the schools and principals across Canada to nominate their choice for Canada’s Best Grad Coordinator.

Cue the Top Gun theme – the Grad Coordinator nominations we received were for the best of the best. These Grad Coordinators can whip a ragtag group of volunteer students into a well oiled Grad machine, year in and year out. They can stretch out a budget and make a venue look like a million dollars. And they can make Grad night the night of their students’ lives. But even in a league of pros there can stand only one with the title, “Canada’s Best Grad Coordinator”

And the winner of the 1st ever Canada’s Best Grad Coordinator goes to… (drum roll)… Francesca McIvor from Centennial High School!

In typical Francesca fashion, she rallied her base and organized over 300 parents and staff members to vote and show their support for her nomination. Even with such a great show of support, Francesca was surprised to win.

“I am honoured to be Canada’s Best Grad coordinator for 2014!” said Francesca as she was presented the award. “It takes a crew of very dedicated people to pull off such a big event for a school the size of Centennial and I am blessed with a great committee and the support of our Assistant Principal Joe Sturgeon. Our graduating class had a tremendous grad day this year. The students looked so proud in their gowns. Thanks to the grad committee, Centennial staff, students, parents and community for making Graduation 2014 such a success!”

As this year’s winner, along with her new golden statue Francesca will also be treated to at spa day at Calgary’s trendy Frilly Lilly.

The SchoolTools team also extends special congratulations to Francesca as she finishes this school year to take her maternity leave.

We’re delighted by the fantastic response and we thank all of our other amazing nominees:

Anna – Beaverlodge Regional High School
Colleen – Ecole J.H. Picard School
Laura – Hunting Hills High School
Linda – Robert Bateman Secondary
Marika – Carpenter High School
Tracy – John Paul II Catholic High School


Francesca McIvor left, Assistant Principal Joseph Sturgeon right


Francesca and SchoolTools’ Ryan Godfrey

 

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June 19, 2014
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20-something decides that it’s time to retire

She looks much too young to retire, doesn’t she?

We’re excited to announce that our dear friend,  Audrey Kyfiuk the Head Secretary at Spruce Grove Composite High School, will be moving on to the next exciting stage of her life at the end of the 2014 school year. The SchoolTools team has always enjoyed working with her and her presence at the school will be missed by her colleagues and friends. Her commitment to excellence has had a powerful impact on the development of our SchoolTools application and she leaves a legacy of features named after her. She has always been a highly valued staff member of the Spruce Grove Composite High School team and in 2012, she was named the Employee of the Year Award by the Chamber of Commerce.

I am really excited to go on to another chapter in my life! It will be wonderful!” said Audrey about her retirement. ” It has been a pleasure working with the SchoolTools Team – I will always have fond memories to keep forever! Take good care and I wish you continued success with EventIQ!!!! You guys rock!!!”

From everyone at the SchoolTools team, we give our thanks to you Audrey!


Audrey Kyfiuk and SchoolTools’ Ryan Godfrey 

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