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How do you make use of technology when working with volunteers?

Posted on August 27th, 2009 by Anne Cardale, OLLI National Resource Center

Michael Bujnowski, OLLI at Concord New Hampshire Asks OLLI:

Has anyone created an infrastructure that makes use of technology when working and training volunteers?

Volunteers are an important part of OLLI. Their contributions directly impact the success of the organization. I believe we can dramatically improve the efficiency and effectiveness of volunteers, as well as attract and keep them involved by giving them access to information that directly relates to improving the quality of their programs. Technology can work for many of our volunteers and we can offer education, training and support to effectively use the technology.

Please share the ways your OLLI employs technology when working with volunteers.

One Response to “How do you make use of technology when working with volunteers?”


  1. Michael,

    We do training and provide support to member leaders regarding technology, e.g., using AV in classes they lead, using power point. For many, these trainings make a significant difference - for some, they need more.

    THE MOST EFFECTIVE use of technology with our volunteers (in my view) is the use of eboards - www.eboard.com There are other examples of this type of software but we started with eboards and it has worked. Each eboard costs $39 per year (the last time I knew it was $39) Here’s an example.

    Our Curr Comm posts all course proposals on the eboard (this requires proposals to come in electronically which 90+% do - now). Each member of the CC can review the proposals on line and make their comments on line. So, by the time the committee meets, each member has reviewed the proposal, made his/her comments and read the comments of the other on the committee — and all without paper. The meeting is for discussion.

    There is a learning curve and a change in culture that has to take place for this to happen but it is worth the investment.

    They also post their list of possible courses for the next semester on the eboard with the relevant information. Again, this enables committee members to review “where the committee is” in their business, again without paper. The post committee agendas and minutes.

    Sometimes a course leader will use an eboard to communicate with people in his/her class, e.g., provide extra readings, study questions, links to websites - It is more efficient than sending many emails.

    There may be other things I’m missing but this is one thing that has really made a difference.

    Sharon

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