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Getting Started on the A4L Community Site and FAQs
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We are really excited about the opportunities that our new A4L Community Site brings to our members: better engagement, collaboration and innovation!

We recognise that this is a big change for our Community, so we have provided a few tips, tricks and best practices for you below.  If you have any questions, or would like more detailed instruction on making the most of your membership and collaborating with members, please contact us.

 

On this page, you will find:

 

 


Best Practices for using the site

Here are some tips that we would recommend as you are getting to grips with the new A4L Community Site and collaboration area….

 

Familiarise yourself with the new site by watching the ‘Getting Started’ video.

The top navigation bar will also provide additional support/guides to help you.

My Feed: A one-page feed of all your activity, from groups, forums etc

My Profile: Maintain your profile details, email preferences, and what information is visible to other members

Directory: Find other members and make connections

Messages: Send direct messages to other members

Connections: Find and make connections with other Community members

Groups: A list of all the groups you are a member of.

Quick Links: Find groups, help guides, Staff list, Ideas Box….

 

Join groups that are of interest to you

Once you have found a group that you are interested in participating in, click on the group name. Then click on ‘Join Group’. (See Finding/Joining a Group)

By joining the group, you will be notified of any discussion/activity within the group.  Plus by clicking on the ‘Actions’ button, you can email and/or message, and be emailed/messaged by, group members (no more maintaining your own distribution lists!).

 

Get involved in group activities

Once you are a member of a group you can:

  • Post any comments, messages, respond to discussions in the group feed area

  • Easily identify who the group Chair/Co-Chair and A4L Support member is

  • See what meeting / events are scheduled and register to attend:

To add meetings to these group lists, please contact your ‘Group Support’ person.

  • Download the meeting series information to your calendar

  • See meeting summary and action items:

All meetings should be recorded in two ways. 

  • As on our previous site, a full set of meeting minutes (word doc) must be posted to the group page within 3-7 days of a meeting.  This should be posted in the ‘Meeting Minutes’ page (see group navigation bar, and click on the drop down next to ‘Pages’).
  • A summary of discussion and/or action items should be listed in the Discussion Forum: Meetings area.  The meeting date/forum topic should be recorded as ‘[YYYY-MM-DD] Meeting’, action items can be cut/paste directly from the meeting minutes word doc. 

This will enable any new Community Member looking to get involved in a new group, an idea of previous discussions and work to date.

  • Review relevant news items

The full list of news articles can be found in the News & Events section of the website.

 

Please Note:  If you have any queries regarding how to use the site, or would like changes made to the layout of your group page, please Contact Us so that we may assist you.

GUIDE: Best Practices for using the new A4L Community Site (PDF)


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Finding/Joining A Group

Every Community Member has complete control over which groups they choose to participate in.

Once you have signed in to the Community, just click on ‘Quick Links’, and the 'Find a Group' to find the group you are interested in joining.

Once you have found your group, click on the ‘Join Group’ button in the group listing….

   …or click on the group name and then the ‘Join Group’ button (top right) on the group page.

 

GUIDE: Joining a Group (PDF)

 

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How to Add Colleagues to your Organization's membership profile

‘Master Account’ holders can add colleagues to their organization’s membership profile and provide access to the A4L Community Site.

 

To do this, just follow the instructions below:

-        Sign in to the website/collaboration area.

-        Click on the ‘Welcome, (your name)’ drop down at the top of the page.

-        Select ‘Account & Settings’

-        Click on ‘Information & Settings’ tab on the left-hand side.

-        Select the ‘Colleagues’ tab at the top of this section (for State wide membership, this tab is labelled 'School Districts').

-        Then either:

o   Cut/paste ‘Colleagues direct link’ and send it in an email to your colleagues.

OR

o   Add email address in the ‘Invite New Members’ text box, and click ‘Send Invite’.

 

Please Note:  If you do not have access to the ‘Colleagues’ direct link, it means that you are not the master account holder for your organization. Please Contact Us so that we may assist you.

GUIDE: How to Add Colleagues (PDF)


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Changing Your Email Preferences

You can choose from the following email settings:

To do this, just follow the instructions below:

  • Sign in to the website/collaboration area.
  • Click on the ‘Welcome, (your name)’ drop down at the top of the page.
  • Select ‘Account & Settings’
  • Click on ‘Profile’ tab on the left-hand side.
  • Select ‘Manage Email Preferences’ within the ‘Account Information’ section.
    • Choose which emails you would like to receive
    • Click ‘Save Preferences’.

GUIDE: How To Change your Email Preferences (PDF)

 

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Renewing Your Membership

With the introduction of our new management software, ‘Master Account’ holders are now more in control of their membership, organizational profile information, and providing their colleagues with access to the multiple A4L Community resources and group collaboration areas than ever!

As part of this change, membership organizations can now renew their membership directly through the website.  To renew your membership, please follow the directions below:

  • Go to the My Feed area (click on the link in the blue navigation bar)

If this is your first time accessing the site:  Once you have completed your initial profile set-up, go to the My Feed area (link in the blue navigation bar).  On the top right hand side, you will see a notification area asking you to configure your time zone.  We strongly recommend you do this now, so that all future notifications will not be hidden behind this announcement.

If you have accessed the site before:  On the top right hand side of this page, you should see the ‘notifications area’. 

  • Find the notification about your membership (it should be first notification, but if not, click 'Next').  This notification advises you that your membership will expire on [DATE] with a button to ‘Renew’ below it.  Select 'Renew'.

  • Follow the steps on the following pages to confirm your membership level and dues amount.
    • If you have a Purchase Order Number for this membership renewal, please enter it in the relevant text box.  This will then be inserted on your invoice for reference.
    • Select whether you would like to pay your invoice online via credit card, or you would prefer to be billed.
      • If you select the ‘bill me’ option, you will need to download/print a copy of your invoice.  This will not be automatically sent to you, unless you request it during this renew process.

Don’t think you are paying the correct membership fee?  There are two things you need to do.  Firstly, check the current membership dues schedule at the bottom of this page: http://www.A4L.org/page/A4LMembership. Secondly, cancel this renewal process for now, and go back into your profile (Welcome, [your name] > Account & Settings) and check all your organizational information is up-to-date (i.e. gross annual revenue for your organization).  Once you have updated this information, you can repeat the renewal steps as before.  Alternatively, please Contact Us so that we may assist you.

GUIDE: Membership: Being in Control (PDF)

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Paying an invoice online

With the introduction of our new management software, ‘Master Account’ holders are now more in control of their membership, organizational profile information, and providing their colleagues with access to the multiple A4L Community resources and group collaboration areas than ever!

To pay an existing invoice (starting 3000XXXXX or 2000XXXXX):

  • Click on the ‘Welcome, (your name)’ drop down at the top of the page – you should see a red circle with a number in it next to your name.
  •  Select ‘Invoices’.  This will then take you to a new page which will list your ‘order’ history, listing all open and closed invoices.
  •  Select the relevant invoice that you wish to pay.  There are two icons next to the check box.
    • Select viewprint if you would like to view/print your invoice
    • Select creditcard if you would like to pay your invoice securely online via credit card

 

Please ensure you keep your organizational information up-to-date. As we move forward with upgrades to the A4L website, we will be utilizing the information provided in your profile to populate a Member Directory, which will be publicly available. 

You can choose which information is available to the Community and/or publicly by selecting the  icon next to each field.  (Highly sensitive information, such as your organizational revenue, will NEVER be made publicly available). 

GUIDE: Membership: Being in Control (PDF)

 

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 If you have any queries, please contact us so that we may assist you.

  • SIF Association (dba Access 4 Learning (A4L) Community)

  • PO Box 1024, New Albany, Ohio 43054-1024

  • Phone: +1.202.621.0547

  • staff@A4L.org