Every educator craves more quality time with students. The moment we see a lesson “click” and the satisfaction of changing a life forever – nothing can compare. And so many of these lessons are learned through the benefits of experiential learning that incorporates volunteerism in the classroom. More than just teamwork or community engagement, volunteering builds all around character in students. But without proper attention, educators can unknowingly allow the administrative upkeep associated with these lessons to distract from being fully present in the classroom.


Tracking volunteer hours with a spreadsheet is a natural place to start. After all, it is already on the computer and only takes a couple of minutes to enter each student’s information. But, there is a cost to manually logging and verifying hours. Factoring in the time spent manually logging hours, verifying attendance and the loss of time spent with students - what is the real cost of maintaining a “free” spreadsheet?


Estimates provided to MobileServe show for every 100 students tracked, a partner spends 60 minutes per week documenting volunteer hours. What’s an hour a week? Assuming 36 school weeks a year, that’s almost one full school week lost to logging hours and not teaching. For a program of 500 students, the numbers quickly become a month spent distracted from the classroom every year.


Curious about your numbers? Follow a simple equation:

[Time Spent Documenting Per Student] x [Number of Students] x [Number of Times Hours are Submitted]


Then there is the monetary cost of time spent. Although the value of a quality education can never be truly quantified, the request is often made. Using the median salary of $50,000 a year; spending one week of a 36 week school year means the school spends over $1,300 to manually document volunteer hours and not teaching students.


Educators have a tough assignment to prepare students for a full life’s journey. These lessons happen in and out of the classroom and it is vital the character building benefits of volunteerism are embraced at a young age. But these lessons must come as a compliment, not a detriment, to the in-class experience.


Automating volunteer hour tracking empowers students to take on the responsibility of digitally submitting, verifying and tracking hours – putting weeks, months and dollars back into the classroom. What a great lesson for the students; that technology, much like volunteering, can develop responsibility, empower, motivate and create a positive net benefit for all our futures.


To learn more about automating volunteer hour tracking to put time and money back into the classroom, please visit us at www.mobileserve.com.

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