I've been spending some time becoming more familiar with Zoho Creator. Zoho Creator is a web based data tool that allows you to create web forms to capture data. I am in the process of editing our staff bulletin web intranet and as part of the redesign, am using Zoho Creator to create several online forms for staff to use to make requests. These requests will range from things like a custodial work request form, all the way to a student support form. Zoho Creator has several features that I am finding very interesting. For example when a form is submitted you have the option of designating automatic email notification. For example when a staff member submits a custodial request, Zoho will generate an email alerting the custodian of the request, in addition to logging the request in the Zoho database. An RSS file is also created which I plan to use with NetVibes to create a dashboard that will help me track and keep up with the various types of requests being submitted.
In the case of the student support form, teachers will use this form to request support and suggestions from fellow staff members as they work to differentiate instruction and support their students. For example a student may be having some difficulty in a curricular area. A classroom teacher can use this form to generate request ideas and suggestions for instructional interventions. The workflow for these types of requests will generate email that will be routed to support staff to alert them of the request. To keep everyone in the loop, the RSS feed for these types of student support requests will be published in a sidebar on our private staff bulletin page. The idea is that the more staff are aware of student needs, they more they can contribute and support each other as they work to support all of our students.