Saturday, March 31, 2012

New Mexico Teacher Licensure Solution

The New Mexico Licensure system completed another successful session today, March 31st., with more than 1,500 educators participating in the Professional Development Dossier system.

As teacher preparation and professional development becomes more and more necessary, the New Mexico Public Education Department, Division of Educator Quality, has designed an amazing online solution which integrates license management state-wide, merit-based reviews of teacher portfolios, professionally trained reviewers, and appropriate changes to licensure level and compensation.

This system is serious business.  School administrators need to approve the educator's submission, credentials are checked through the state licensure office, and a well trained team of portfolio reviewers analyzes the submissions from each teacher (supported by the University of New Mexico).  In the end, failure can literally mean that a teacher is no longer able to practice in New Mexico.  Evidence of high quality teaching can mean advances in licensure and increased compensation.




Congratulations to the teachers, their administrators, and to the New Mexico Public Education Department, and the technical and help desk staff of VisionLink for another successful session, with more than 1,500 submissions from New Mexico educators.  The Professional Development Dossier System is deployed as part of VisionLink's Community Operating System (CommunityOS).

If you would like to learn more, follow this link:  www.teachnm.org.

Dr. W. Douglas Zimmerman
President & CEO
VisionLink, Inc.



Wednesday, March 21, 2012

New Form Builder Features to Match Staff Needs

We have released new features to help support call operations, client intake, tracking, and case management. Both of these new features described below are part of the Form Builder module in VisionLink's Community Operating System, or CommunityOS. This module is used to arrange the fields, tabs, conditions, navigation, and workflow useful to every organization managing client and call information.

The first is an inline fields tool. With this addition, call and client forms can be designed not only with one of several templates and pre-set vertical and horizontal layouts, specific data fields can be aligned in the same horizontal line. It sounds like a small thing, but it helps use the screen real estate in the most efficient way possible, now allowing both vertical and horizontal field arrangements, in one or more sections as you need. Part of the Form Builder Wizard, it is easy to configure and deploy without any programming.

The second is a configurable Client Summary which now lets our customers configure summaries of client information to display across the top of the caller, client, and case management form sets (such as name, address, etc.) This summary information can also be formatted to match the look and feel of the customer's web site to keep the look and feel aligned. Now what we think should be summarized is not such a constraint.

Current customers can find the details about these and other recent releases in the Customer Resource Center (CRC).

For our homeless management (HMIS) work, we have been making many more, and more substantive enhancements to the Form Builder. Stay tuned!

Best regards,
Dr. W. Douglas Zimmerman
President & CEO
VisionLink





Thursday, March 1, 2012

Well Done 2-1-1 Texas!

Congratulations to 2-1-1 Texas!


The first calls came in early this morning, on the new state-wide enterprise platform deployed by TIRN, the Texas Information and Referral Network.

TIRN is deploying VisionLink's Community Operating Solution so that 25 Area Information Centers can work on a common platform and yet attend to community-specific needs. What were separate and distinct software solutions for each center across Texas are now unified. This will reduce costs, improve service, and bring a new level of state-wide analytics and reporting to what is already a highly professional operation across the state.  In fact, the state is United State's largest 2-1-1 system, and Houston is the nation's largest single 2-1-1 call center.

In their own words:  2-1-1 Texas, a program of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, is committed to helping Texas citizens connect with the services they need. Whether by phone or internet, our goal is to present accurate, well-organized and easy-to-find information from over 60,000 state and local health and human services programs.

The system is rolling out in phases, and this morning's pilot group included:

Hopkins County Community Action Network
North Texas Area United Way
United Way of Abilene
United Way of Amarillo and Canyon
United Way of Tyler/Smith County

Tonight, the 2-1-1 call centers in Dallas and Houston will launch a portion of their staff on the new CommunityOS platform, since they serve as overnight response centers for the pilot group.

2-1-1 is a quick three digit number that any of us can dial on our telephones (or can access via web sites) to gain access to a tremendously broad range of social services.  For any of us, being able to call a specialist gives us much better information, more quickly, and at any time of the day or night.  Callers are referred to appropriate organizations and services.  Those organizations in turn rely on 2-1-1 to refer the right people needing specific services to the correct organization which can in fact respond.

Particularly in this economy, 2-1-1 offers a great return on state and community funding and leverages volunteer and partner agency resources every day, while at the same time providing a friendly and helpful source of information.

VisionLink is proud to provide this advanced solution; next month we will announce the next five Area Information Centers coming online.

Dr. W. Douglas Zimmerman
President & CEO
VisionLink