I’ve barely survived some pretty hairy school calendar planning sessions in my client districts, and have nearly lost my sanity sorting through hundreds of pieces of paper (including handwritten notes) containing competing events and dates that just have to be included in the bulging school calendar.
So in my social media travels, I have come across some pretty neat problem-solvers out there on the web, including Tandem for Schools, a central web-based calendar service. Using Tandem, school administrators can contribute to and update a central calendar, thereby sidestepping competing events, eliminating all that paper, and permitting the person who compiles your calendar to retain his or her grip on reality.
Tandem connects school districts with parents in multiple ways, centered around a sophisticated system. The web-based calendar set up by a school district (or individual schools, PTAs, education foundations, sports booster organizations, etc.) syncs with Outlook, iCal, Google Calendar, Windows Live, Yahoo Calendar, Cozi, and other popular calendar systems.
The service also provides iPhone and smartphone integration so that Tandem can send email and text message alerts to parents. Messages can be filtered by parents along the lines of their interests — for example, sports events, or school concerts.
Want your calendar to integrate with your district website? Tandem does that, by allowing you to re-direct the calendar button or the link you use to your district or school Tandem URL, and users will land right on the calendar. The calendar also can be customized to your school or district colors and logo.
Because Tandem is web hosted, there isn’t any hardware to purchase or software to download. And it automatically includes directions to every event you post on the district calendar, with the help of Google Maps. You can also post individual events from the Tandem calendar directly onto Twitter and Facebook, and the calendar itself can be embedded onto your District’s Facebook page.
Districts that use Tandem can set two different privacy levels on their calendars — one for the public and another level just for parents. There’s no restriction on the number of events, photos, or news stories a school or district can publish on its Tandem calendar, and there’s no cap on the volume of updates sent to users and no limit on the number of users.
This is not a sponsored post, and I have no reason to endorse the service other than having checked it out online myself. The best way to understand how Tandem works is to watch the company video.
Although Tandem hasn’t published any rates that I can find, you can see what the company offers in three different pricing levels — Basic, Standard and Plus — here. You might also want to sign up for a demo or participate in a Tandem webinar before deciding your next course of action.