If you were to think back on your days in the classroom, what images would pop up? For many of us, thinking about school would conjure up memories of heavy textbooks, clunky overhead projectors, dusty chalk, and paper….endless and endless amounts of paper.
One school district, however, rejected the status quo and the “traditional” school model to make way for a more efficient learning environment. At Sequoia Union High School District, a school district located on the San Francisco Peninsula, teachers and administrators are equipped with Chromebooks, students can access and complete assignments via Classroom–Google’s newest online education tool, and all of the staff can stay organized with Google’s suite of productivity apps, consisting of Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
In order to fully close the loop on its digital transformation, however, the school district knew that it needed to do something about the paper problem. After some research, the Sequoia Union High School District found its solution in DocuSign.
We spoke with Bob Fishtrom, Sequoia Union’s Director of Instructional Technology, on how partnering with DocuSign and Google for Education greatly improved efficiency at the school district (and was a total hit with teachers and administrators).
“Prior to using DocuSign,” Fishtrom explained, “the school district did not have a streamlined process or central repository for any documents. We were using a mixture of Google Docs, file cabinets, email, etc., to store completed forms. As a result, there was paper everywhere and managing all of these files was very difficult.” One process that proved to be particularly burdensome was teacher evaluation. Three times a year, 250 different instructors would each receive their own individual evaluations. This meant multiple forms would need to be filled out and signed by the teacher and the site administrator. It routinely took at least three days for these evaluation forms to be fully completed. This process was not only wasteful, but unnecessarily complex. Therefore, the district wanted an alternative that was both user and environmentally-friendly, and would rid them of the limitations of their “antiquated forms”.
Even though the school district had recently made the switch to Google for Education, it was still dealing with paper to get documents signed. Bob was determined to completely digitize this process:
“As the Director of Instructional Technology, my objective is to leverage technology to increase efficiency and improve processes so that teachers and administrators spend less time managing paper and more time focused on educating students. After migrating the whole district to Google for Education, signing up for DocuSign was the next obvious step to drive this type of efficiency and to get the most out of the technology we had invested in.”
Bob was drawn to DocuSign for a few reasons. For one, DocuSign’s clear user interface made for incredibly easy implementation. “The biggest obstacle to implementing a new technology is ease of use. I knew I needed to make this as easy as possible for everyone. DocuSign was exactly that: easy to implement, easy for administrators, easy for senders, and easy for end-users.”
Bob also chose DocuSign for its integration with Google Cloud, noting that “DocuSign integrates seamlessly with Google products.” With DocuSign for Google, the district’s forms are now easily signed online in minutes and securely stored for easy retrieval. Administrators simply right-click on a teacher evaluation form in Google Drive, open with DocuSign, place fields for teachers to fill-in and sign, and type in the teacher’s email address. The form is instantly emailed to the teacher, and they can complete the document without ever having to leave their inbox. When the form is completed, it is automatically sent back to a folder in Google Drive that contains all of the other completed DocuSign forms. Bob added, “upon experiencing the DocuSign for Google workflow for the first time, the Assistant Superintendent commented, “I can’t believe how easy this is!”
Thanks to DocuSign and Google for Education, teachers and administrators no longer have to sift through mountains of paperwork or wrestle with printers and fax machines. Turnaround times for teacher evaluation forms have decreased by 66%. A process that used to take at least 3 days is now completed in less than 1 day with DocuSign and Google Drive. Plus, they now spend less money on paper and ink.
Using DocuSign templates and PowerForms, Sequoia Union has also streamlined other processes, such as hiring forms, reprographics requests, conference requests, and equipment surplus forms. Getting rid of all of that paperwork has made it easier for teachers and administrators to focus instead on delivering quality education to their students:
“DocuSign and Google Apps for Education have been revolutionary for our schools. Teachers and administrators are very appreciative of going through a more digital process instead of having endless papers and copies and trying to keep all of that file management straight. DocuSign is really easy to use; it’s so logical and intuitive.” -Bob Fishtrom, Sequoia Union’s Director of Instructional Technology
Do you use Google products and are looking to get rid of the headaches and frustration that come with slow paper processes? Check out DocuSign for Google Cloud.