Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Google Sites Case Study: Teach for America



Guest: Crystal Tang, Director of Solutions - Information Technology at Teach For America
Interviewer: Kyle Horst, Kirksville Web Design


Crystal, tell us a bit about Teach For America and Going Google

Currently, we have over 2000 full-time staff members at Teach For America who are working to ensure that all children, regardless of their backgrounds, have excellent educational opportunities. Our staff members are located across the country, and because teammates are not always co-located, our IT team aims to ensure that all our staff members have the tools they need to do their jobs well and to do their work efficiently. Google Apps has allowed our staff members to easily collaborate and share information with each other and with the corps members we support , in turn allowing us to multiply our impact.

Locations of Teach For America across the country

How is Teach For America using Google Sites?

Google Sites has become a staple within Teach For America’s work environment. Teams use them in a number of ways: as a one-stop shop for all their team-specific information and data, as a way to communicate updates and timelines to internal and external partners. Some teams use them to store notes and ensure that there is a place where institutional knowledge is permanently located. We recently worked with Kyle Horst at Kirksville Web Design to create a Google Site that houses our most up-to-date staff resources and information.


How has your Google Sites intranet helped your organization? What has been the impact of the TFAHub? What feedback have you received?

Our Google Sites intranet houses our most updated resources that are relevant to almost all staff members, such as benefits information or professional development materials. This type of information used to be housed on our internal file server, which requires you to either be in an office to access, or connected to VPN. 

With our new Google Sites intranet, we are now able to allow staff members to access information wherever and whenever they are online. Additionally, where our file server lacked context around resources and were not very well maintained, our Google Site allows staff members to easily navigate and search for the specific resources they are looking for. We’ve seen a steady increase in site visits since we launched in February , and have heard from many staff members that it’s been an extremely useful shift in terms of how we present and share all-staff resources.



Our Google Site allows staff members to easily navigate and search for the specific resources they are looking for.



Would you recommend other organizations consider leveraging Google Sites? Why?

I would definitely recommend using Google Sites. It is a great, free platform that allows you to be flexible with how you want to present your information.

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