Top Ten Technologies Every Executive Director Should Know AboutMarch 16, 2007
Presenters: Gabrielle Hammond, NTAP Gwen Daniels, Illinois Legal AidMarch 16, 2007
#10: Poverty Law Survey Tool • Sign Up: http://survey.lstech.org • More info: http://lsntap.org/techlibrary
Power of Surveys • Tool to return to “Community Lawyering” • Instant feedback for management, organizational development, fundraising, technology evaluation, services evaluation, and priority setting • More accurate than web tracking forms
Power of Online Surveys • Cheap, Relatively Easy, Fast • Lots of features -- Create surveys where: • anyone can respond as many times as they like; • only invited persons can respond; • a person can only respond only once; • in other languages; • anonymous surveys are sent in; • participants go to a URL or respond to an email; • prior surveys can be reused and edited; • data is analyzed instantly online or downloaded to a spreadsheet or graph.
Examples of Surveys for Poverty Law • Technology Evaluation • Community Based Priority Setting • Outcome Assessment & Satisfaction of Services (Clinics, Hotline, Representation) • Fundraising • Volunteer Recruitment • Staff Input (Retreats, Conferences, Training) • Task Force or Committee Planning
Rates of Return • Depends on WHO you send it to • Depends on how long your survey is • Depends on how important your survey is to them • Depends on incentives for completion • Depends on type of survey to complete
Name that Rate of Return Assumption 1: To “Strangers” Assumption 2: 10,000 respondents • Postcard or Mail Surveys? • 2 - 8% • Telephone Surveys? • 17% • Online Surveys? • 34% Comparison of Traditional v Online Survey Methods, Web Surveyor Corporation, 2002
Poverty Law Surveyshttp://survey.lstech.org • Usable by Non-Techie who is Willing to Learn • Sign Up: http://survey.lstech.org • More info: http://lsntap.org/techlibrary
#9: Wikis • Easy-to-use online space for collaboration • Perfect for DYNAMIC information • Perfect for QUICK information • More info: http://lsntap.org/techlibrary
What is a wiki? • In a single sentence, a wiki is a web site that is created and edited collaboratively.
What is a wiki? • Users can change, delete, update, and build on the thoughts and ideas of others. • Although it is web-based no coding or “technical” knowledge is required. • Starting to use a wiki requires a sense of exploration. • Analogy: a word-processor used collaboratively, acts as a dynamic repository, retains revisions and allows discussion.
Wiki benefits • For people new to the idea, the concept of anyone being able to update and change the text of a site seems chaotic. • Complex projects (see Wikipedia - an encyclopedia done with a wiki) have proven the value of this tool.
Some more wiki facts • The way a wiki is set up and the informal rules governing the community of users of that wiki determine its character. • In its ideal form, a wiki can be termed as a tool for discourse and self-correction. On one end of the spectrum, you can have totally open, democratic wiki such as Wikipedia and on the other end, you can have a personal, secure notetaking tool accessible only to yourself. • However, a big attraction of a wiki is its ability to retain a memory of the changes made to it.
Wikis in the Poverty Law Setting • Why a wiki? • Wikis in action • Challenges to getting people to contribute • Praise for the wikis
Arkansas Legal Services The problem: • The pro bono organizations mailed to every pro bono attorney a huge binder of a printed version of the poverty law manual ( a manual w/ 10 sections pretty much following the major categories we deal with nationally such as Landlord/Tenant and Family law....) • Cost for mailing and printing was enormous, plus it got out of date pretty quickly since it was focused on the advocate providing a lot of case law.
Interim Solution: • The manual was then converted to PDF and put on the website. But PDF is bulky and takes a while to load ... • Additionally, the website coordinator could not continue to keep it updated – ‘just too much in addition to my other jobs..’
The solution A wiki that will be limited to the pro bono and legal services community with the hopes that the community will edit and update. https://povertylawmanual.wikispaces.com/
Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania The problem • Telephone Intake manual and Staff manual required constant changes to a printed manual. Staff manual---everyone throughout the program had different versions, depending on which updates they had actually kept.
Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania The solution: • “I checked out the NTAP info on wikis, and was drawn by the claim that creating a wiki could be as easy as making a peanut butter sandwich. I figured I’d see if that was true, and it was.”
Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania The result: A wiki with: • Organizational information • Help Line Manual • Staff Directory • Substantive Law resources • Other Resources
Michigan Reentry Law Wiki The problem: • A printed manual that needed updating and additional information, cost of printing and mailing. Do you see a theme….?
Michigan Reentry Law Wiki The solution: An extensive wiki of reentry law resourceshttp://reentry.mplp.org/reentry/index.php/Main_Page
Michigan Reentry Law Wiki The result: • Extensive content, links to other websites, documents uploaded. • 20 editors, an editor training…3 contributors.
The wiki challenge: Collaboration • Biggest barrier is getting multiple people to contribute and edit? • Why? • Unstructured? • Uncomfortable with formatting • Fear of “breaking something” • Not the “normal” way of doing things
The wiki challenge: Collaboration • How to overcome that? • Plan and startup a basic outline, people often balk at a blank page. • Basic formatting training – include hands-on exercises and include a “cheat sheet” • Let people know it can’t be broken • Ask specific people to contribute specific content – be available to answer questions. • Start with something easy • Recipe wiki (every adds their favorite recipe)
Addressing the challenge • Encourage use of the wiki - • Standard email reply: “That would be a great thing to post to the wiki….” • Promote use of the wiki as a resource • Acknowledging wiki usage • Identify a few key content editors • Wait for the paradigm shift
Wiki praises • The online aspect of manuals in an easily updatable format is worth it (even without multiple contributors). • Wiki “admin” praise the fact that it is easy to use without technical know-how. • With email volume constantly increasing a wiki provides an alternative to cluttered inboxes.
Setting up a wiki: • Decisions: • Software and Hardware (For more information see: www.lsntap.org/node/1061) • Content: Creating a general outline of how you want the navigation to work makes it easier to add information, and to organize it in a user-friendly way. • Access – Open, Password protected, Editorial privileges password protected. • Editorial Policies
Wiki in action…. • Open a new browser window on your desktop • Go to: http://becky.wiki.lstech.org/index.php/Wiki_Training • Click on the edit tab • Add content! • Remember to “Save Page”
#8: RSS • Bring News to You • The Poverty Law Newspaper -- ONLINE • Very easy to use in IE 7 or Mozilla Firefox • Available for most news, blogs and info sources • Feeds for advocates: http://lsntap.org/node/1758
RSS Terms • RSS is a widely used standard for syndicating content across websites • Alphabet Soup? Aggregators, Feed Readers, RSS Readers = some application that provides a consolidated view of the content in a single browser display or desktop application. • Where are “Feed Aggregators”? GoogleReader, MyYahoo.com, email applications like Outlook 2007 (earlier versions with plugins), Thunderbird, or IE 7 or Firefox
#7: GIS Mapping • Mapping Tells a Story • Visually Display Complex Data • For Funders • For Management • For Advocacy
GIS Software . ESRI: Supplies ArcIMS software to nonprofits for $100.00 • Complicated to learn • The GIS National Server Project is ready for Census Data. Support materials completed by May 07.
Variables to Map • Ethnicity & Race • Age • Income of Household • Urban, Rural, Farming • House Ownership or Rent • Education Level
GIS Mapping National Server • Beta Site: http://tnatlas.geog.utk.edu/lasc.htm • More Info and Support: http://lsntap.org • Next Steps: • NTAP develops support materials and posts online. • NTAP conducts two trainings for legal aid programs. • Work with ESRI to figure out solution to mapping your CMS data concurrently. • Receive feedback and make recommendations for adjustments.
#6: Document Assembly • Sometimes called ... • “Document automation” • “Computer-aided drafting” • Think TurboTax • Typically found in ... • Word processing applications • Case management systems • Fillable forms