Sunday, August 14, 2016

Educational Ambassador Programs



I recently applied and was selected to be a ClassFlow ambassador for the coming school year. I heard about the position when I attended ISTE and volunteered to be a part of their focus group (see blog post HERE). I have done numerous training within our district on how to use ClassFlow (we went 1:1 with devices in all grade levels last year) and for the most part I was self taught (they have a lot of great getting started videos). I applied hoping to get more detailed training with all their new changes (which I will) and first dibs on any new product launches (and I also have secret fantasy that I will get to visit the Ron Clark academy since they are a large sponsor...no word on that happening but my fingers are crossed).

Apparently there are a lot of Ambassador programs with various educational companies...because I heard of two others while I was at ISTE. I'm actually shocked this was the first year I heard of these types of programs. ClassFlow is free (you can sign up here) and is a place you can build interactive lesssons that can be pushed out to student devices. So instead of you being at the front of the room teaching from your board, calling one student up at a time, to interact with the lesson...you can send out your lesson to the students and they can interact with it. It is pretty cool and I have done a lot of modeling in our district using the software. (See my first ClassFlow blog post HERE from 2014). 

ClassFlow was an easy company to decide to apply for...mainly because of our districts use (and it helps that it is a product I love and promote in our district all the time).

I actually didn't know what becoming an ambassador meant so I applied blindly. I was thinking I would get a free t-shirt, maybe some free stuff to hand out during training, a field trip to schools using the product well, co-teach at a conference...those sort of things.

While I haven't got any free t-shirt (yet) I did get a list of things you are asked to do as an ambassador which does include attending training and webinars, respond to posts within the community, help promote the product on social media, etc. It helps that I have no obligations this year for me so I am free to jump into being an Ambassador (last year I was in an intense Master Naturalist class for the full school year). I actually signed a contract (scary!) that said I would do all these things and a spreadsheet each month where I attach and send in proof. The person in charge is really nice and used to be a classroom teacher so she understands "life" happens. I think the contract is in place to help remind you to do all the things you are supposed to do. There is an "escape" clause in the contract for both the ClassFlow folks or you...if you need an out.

FYI - Another random Ambassador fact (at least for ClassFlow not sure of other companies)...I have to have a background check and a drug screening.

If you really love and use an educational company I would definitely check to see if there is an Ambassador program that you can apply for. I have a friend who runs a lego lab in one of our schools and I told her she should check with the "Legos for Education" folks to see. She knows I would make a HORRIBLE Lego Ambassador since I am terrible at building things and cleaning and sorting legos is my idea of torture. 

If you are interested in becoming an ambassador, but not this year, think instead about starting a blog or being active on social media as your goal for the school year. I think having both (a blog and being activity on social media) is what pushed me into the "accepted" category when I applied. 






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