Wolf Creek Public Schools board of trustees has purchased a web based program which may prove to be more effective than holding town hall meetings.
At its Sept. 15 meeting, the board agreed to spend $54,000 to purchase, ‘thought exchange,’ a Canadian product that provides opportunity for invited participants to provide their thoughts and ideas regarding related topics.
Comments from participants will be summarized and coalated so it will be easy to assess the information come to a conlusion regarding the census.
Board chairman Trudy Bratland is pleased the board has adopted the program and believes it will be beneficial. She noted it is also less expensive than using manpower to set up and attend meetings and summarize information and data received.
“It’s a way of reaching out and not having the people have to come to us,” she said. “It is such a huge division,” she added. “This will be a very valuable asset for us.”
Meetings or surveys do not give everyone the chance to speak and learn from each other.
Live meetings have limited attendance because of issues of time and distance for participants. Even though people wish to attend, busy schedules mean they just can’t make it.
Surveys can reach more people than meetings but you aren’t able to learn from what others are saying.
Thoughtexchange uses technology to engage more people than can attend or participate, even if they do attend. We also go far beyond a survey by allowing you to share your thoughts and then review and prioritize yours and others’ ideas.
From these priorities and insights, leaders can make decisions and move issues forward that are in line with the priorities of the group.
Students will also be invited to participate in the program and Bratland is confident they will be comfortable reaching out through the on-line process.
“The younger generation is more likely to participate,” she said.