Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators

WASDA turns to Mediasite to share timely information with members while generating revenue.

The Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators (WASDA) needed a cost-effective way to communicate timely information among its more than 400 members across the state of Wisconsin. Budget constraints made attending professional development workshops and seminars difficult for administrators, but they needed continuous updates on government changes in education. WASDA chose Mediasite to share critical knowledge with superintendents to help them more effectively perform their jobs.

WASDA staff members can now address multiple questions and breaking news in a single, simple Mediasite presentation. The library of presentations that has accumulated generated $40,000 in additional revenue while saving $20,000 in newsletter publication costs. Members can access information quickly and easily, and WASDA staff members can keep track of who views the presentations. The organization makes decisions efficiently with Mediasite’s polling component and captures over 50 presentations per month. Mediasite has transformed the way WASDA communicates with its members.

At a glance

  • Association needed budget-friendly technology with statewide communication capabilities
  • Mediasite enables rapid communication of critical, time-sensitive information on laws pertaining to school district administrators
  • $20,000 annual printing costs eliminated while association generates new revenue of $40,000 from video library
  • Time saved for both the organization and members who are able to deliver and review monthly newsletters in a clear and concise format

Challenge

WASDA is comprised of 425 members who are superintendents throughout the state of Wisconsin. Because member superintendents serve both rural and urban districts with the number of students ranging from 125 to 75,000, they have disparate needs and concerns. Many members cannot afford the time or the costs associated with attending professional development workshops and seminars.

“With budget constraints not only upon ourselves but our members, we strive continuously to do more with less,” said Miles Turner, WASDA executive director. “Through our association, we work to make educational materials and training available to superintendents that they may find useful in their own individual school district. It is increasingly becoming important for superintendents to be informed of laws being passed on both federal and state levels that affect education. We felt it was part of our mission to provide timely information on these issues to our members, regardless of location.”

Prior to using Mediasite, WASDA members struggled to share critical knowledge needed to more efficiently and effectively perform their jobs as superintendents.

Solution

Using Sonic Foundry’s Mediasite now allows WASDA members to stay current on breaking news affecting the organization regardless of their school district’s location. WASDA staff members reduced time spent drafting and mailing answers to member inquiries or on the telephone repeatedly fielding the same member questions again and again. WASDA staff can now direct members to the timely information provided on the WASDA website.

WASDA captures press conferences, educational lectures, updates to curriculum and other pertinent information affecting members. Mediasite also provides Turner with a solution that allows him to deliver content systematically to members. Prior to using Mediasite, few systems were in place to regularly deliver messages to the WASDA membership.

“Previously I would devote a great deal of time drafting content yet never really knew if it was being reviewed by our members. Now I use Mediasite not only to deliver the content but also to review the number of individuals who have watched my message. With six pages of content the equivalent of a five-minute presentation, it is little wonder that members prefer to watch Mediasite,” Turner said.

Result

Turner estimates the organization now uses Mediasite to capture at least 50 meetings or presentations per month. The organization is saving nearly $20,000 per year on printing costs for the monthly newsletter, which are funds that can then be directed to other member activities.

“A benefit of the technology, which we did not initially anticipate, was the cost savings Mediasite would deliver to our organization,” he said. “There isn’t a non-profit in America that would mind having an additional $20,000 in their pocket to direct to other programs for the organization. Mediasite is also a revenue generator for our organization in that we also created an additional $40,000 from our video library.”

Board meetings also are made more efficient through the use of the technology by capitalizing upon the interactive features provided through the Mediasite Viewer. The polling component allows for decision-making to move more rapidly, with members able to conveniently make a selection, review the results and then move forward to other items. Decisions that would usually take hours for the organization to deliberate can now take only a few minutes.

“Actually,” Turner explained, “the only thing that limits our use of Mediasite is our imaginations.”

About the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators

Founded in 1938, the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators is the professional association for Wisconsin’s public school superintendents. Any person who is legally certified as a public school administrator and directly responsible to a board of education is eligible to become a full voting member of this association. Over its history, the Association has come to provide much more than service and support for its members. It has gained a reputation as an advocate for the students who attend Wisconsin public schools.