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6 Steps to Your Best Fall User Group Experience 6 Steps to Your Best Fall User Group Experience

6 Steps to Your Best Fall User Group Experience

#Events
Lauren Gilchrist Lauren Gilchrist EdTech Thought Leader
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Are you looking to elevate your Skyward knowledge, expand your education network, and have a great time while doing it? Look no further than user groups!

These dynamic events are your shortcut to upping your Skyward game. When you’re not in sessions, you’ll have opportunities to chat with professionals from across your state who share similar roles and responsibilities. It’s PD + networking at its finest—and it all starts again this fall!

So, if you're ready to dive into the world of user groups, use the six-step process we outlined below to make sure you get the most from your experience. But first, enjoy a sneak peek of what you can expect at a conference in this On the Road with Lauren (a.k.a. Moaning Myrtle) video!
 

1. Sign up for the conference

Go to this page to see when your state’s conference will be. Then register to reserve your spot!
 

2. Check out the agenda

Many user groups offer more than 100 breakout sessions. Needless to say, you won’t get a chance to attend them all (unless, by chance, you own a time turner). To get the most from the conference, look over the agenda ahead of time and take note of the sessions you’d like to prioritize. (Note: Sessions feature both the SMS 2.0 and Qmlativ software. There are also sessions on transitioning from SMS 2.0 to Qmlativ.)

Here’s a list of some of the session topics you may find at your user group:
  • New Features in Skyward
  • Scheduling
  • Food Service 
  • Year-End Processing 
  • Fee Management 
  • Data Mining 
  • Payroll 
  • Cybersecurity 
  • Attendance 
  • Online Forms 
  • Health Services
  • New Student Enrollment 
  • Disaster Recovery 
If you have a request for a session or track not on your state’s agenda, tell your state steering committee by using the contact information on your user group’s website. (You can find your user group's website by visiting skyward.com/events and clicking the Register button on your state's card.) Steering committees appreciate your feedback and assistance in shaping these events.
 

3. Write down your questions

User groups provide the perfect opportunity to chat with the Skyward team. You can have an informal conversation with a team member between sessions, or you can get formal one-on-one assistance in the Help Room. There’s no easier way to get the answers you need face-to-face. Bring your questions, ask for feedback, and make the most of this opportunity! (Note: Check out your conference's website or contact your steering committee to find out whether you can schedule a Help Room appointment in advance.)
 

4. Strike up a convo

Do you ever wish you could chat with people in similar roles to yours at other districts? Do you wish you could ask them questions about how they do things? User groups are a great place to have these conversations. The friends you make here can be people who will help you do your job better. Embrace the chance to connect. Share your contact information at the conference, so you can share custom reports, documentation, and tips and tricks later.
 

5. Join in on the fun!

Each user group is unique, offering some sort of activity or event where attendees can have some fun. I’ve personally participated in a user group’s Halloween costume party (if you haven’t already, be sure to watch the video above 🎃), but I’ve also heard great stories about bowling, a glowstick flash mob, and live music. Be sure to get involved in these activities—it’s where the best user group memories are made!
 

6. Schedule a post-conference breakdown chat

Take what you’ve learned at the conference and share that knowledge with your coworkers—both those who attended the conference and those who stayed back to keep the school running smoothly. Give everyone a chance to share what they learned, then dive into ways to turn this knowledge into action.


So what do you think? Will you join us this fall? We hope to see you at your state’s user group conference. We can promise you'll walk away with a wealth of knowledge, great new connections, and, of course, fun memories you’ve made along the way.
 

Follow-Up Resource: Know Your Skyward Training Options

Want to work smarter, not harder in Skyward? Here’s a quick overview of the training tools you can use to grow your Skyward knowledge.


 


Lauren Gilchrist Lauren Gilchrist EdTech Thought Leader


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