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If you’re in charge of communicating with the members of a club or organization, you know how hard it can be to keep everyone on the same page. A lot of this difficulty stems from the fact that your members are probably really busy themselves, and they’ll rarely remember anything you tell them in person or even email them. But there are ways to keep everyone in the loop without going loopy yourself.
If your school uses Edmodo, you can ask your club sponsor to create a page for your club. You can have a Facebook-like feed of important information, announcements, and files that everyone can see. And the best part is that your members will get emailed almost every time you post something new. You can post polls and assignments too.
If your school doesn’t use Edmodo, however, it’ll be difficult to make your own club page, especially when your members don’t already have Edmodo accounts themselves.
If you’re going for a feed structure, a Facebook group is probably your best bet. Most of your members probably already have accounts, and there’s nothing to master as far as actually using the group goes.
However, if you’d like your members to periodically turn things in as assignments, Facebook doesn’t have a tool for that. And it’s important to note that it is a social network, so there may be people in your club who aren’t allowed to have accounts.
If your primary focus for communication is email and discussion threads, Google Groups is a good option. It’s like an embellished email list that lives in its own compartment, in which members can comment on existing posts and make new ones.
Google Groups may be going away sometime soon, though, so don’t use it if you’re not prepared to lose it. But it can be a good companion to another service for just emailing your group members.
If your school uses Canvas, your sponsor can create a course and make you a TA, which gives you the power to structure pages, create assignments & discussions, and make announcements. This is an excellent way to integrate your club groups with your normal academic courses, eliminating the need for an additional service for your club members.
Because students have a lot of choices regarding their email settings in Canvas, your members won’t necessarily get notified when anything new is added unless they’ve selected that option in their email settings. But they will see new announcements, assignments, and discussions once they log into Canvas.
If you have to brainstorm ideas, Trello is an excellent option. All posts are organized into a visual space called a board, and you can really structure it however you want. On each board, lists contain a series of cards. Individual cards can contain assignments, ideas, announcements, etc. Everyone can also comment on each others’ cards. So, for example, you could create a new list with “Fundrasing Ideas” and have everyone create a card to contribute an idea.
Trello is new to a lot of people, so it may take some time for your members to get acquainted with it. Plus, it’s not primarily suitable for making regular announcements.
There are so many more services, and it’s a good idea to research them all to see which one will fit your club best. Keep in mind the purpose of your club. Is it an honor society that only requires announcements? Is it an active club that has many fundraising events throughout the year? Or is it a publication that requires assignments and discussions?
Know that a lot of progress with organizations happens outside of physical meetings. So giving your club a digital space for ideas to flow through can help you be more collaborative and productive.