Going to the hospital is hardly ever fun. It’s a sterile environment full of needles and institutional décor that’s the furthest thing from making you feel comfortable. A children’s clinic in Miami set out to change all that by using technology to put patients at ease and Kinect for Windows plays a big role in the clinic’s approach. The Kinect for Windows blog highlights the improved patient experience and how it’s helping medical staff create a better diagnosis of the child’s health.
Hong Kong-based nonprofit organisation Crossroads Foundation serves global need by linking those who are in need with those who can provide help by providing an intersection, literally a crossroads, to bring both together. Learn more about the four global crossroads services. The Foundation is now using Microsoft SQL Server® Reporting Services (SSRS) as the platform to develop interactive, highly sophisticated reports to improve work productivity across its operations.
Crossroads Foundation’s projects are aimed at addressing a wide range of global needs, and the sheer amount of work data and information generated — from volunteering statistics to data pertaining to donation pipelines — can span up to nearly a dozen key data repositories. The nonprofit organisation required a database and reporting system that would enable its staff to build unified reporting dashboards for the entire organisation and automate key reporting processes.
“Microsoft’s SSRS enables us to run our operations more effectively by addressing some of the key challenges we previously faced with manual reporting processes,” said Matthew Gow, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Crossroads Foundation. “Previously, we found that most of our data was not properly visualised in our reports, for instance, and this often resulted in them being under-utilised. SSRS provided us with the right tools to create and manage reports that are engaging and professionally presented.”
With a clearer understanding of their data, Crossroads now gains better insight into volunteering statistics and behaviour, their stock and donations pipelines, and sales reports for their Fair Trade café and handicrafts businesses. Better data translates into better management of Crossroads’ various programmes and business lines. Mr Gow estimates that Crossroads Foundation is now able to save more than 300 hours of labour effort annually through its more streamlined reporting processes. The SSRS platform also allows its staff to generate reports in a wide variety of formats such as PDF or emails that can be readily accessed on mobile devices.
SSRS is available to Crossroads Foundation through Microsoft’s technology donation programme TechDonation in Hong Kong, which is managed by the Hong Kong Council of Social Services. The donation programme is aimed at helping nonprofit organisations maximise their existing information technology (IT) infrastructure and investments.
"By making use of Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services, Crossroads Foundation has realised substantial productivity gains and visibility into our operations without additional investment in technology.”
- Matthew Gow, CTO, Crossroads Foundation
The Wildlife Reserves of Singapore (WRS) is one of six selected beneficiaries of the Dollar Matching programme launched by Microsoft Singapore this year to increase its fundraising support to local nonprofit groups.
Microsoft will match the donated sum made by its Singapore-based employees (up to SGD500 per employee) to support WRS and their conservation efforts. Microsoft’s donations to WRS are coordinated by Ammado, one of Microsoft’s global nonprofit partners.
If you love animals and are keen to engage people, you may wish to join Wildlife Reserves Singapore as a volunteer docent!
Started in 1997, the WRS docent programme is for adult volunteers who are based at Discovery Stations located at Jurong Bird Park, the Night Safari and Singapore Zoo. Interpretives, games, props and animal artifacts are just some of the tools used to educate and engage visitors to help spread the organization’s conservation message. Learn more about the stations and duty timings.
Training Dates WRS is now scheduling interviews for volunteers on 12and 13 January 2013. Training sessions for the first half of 2013 will take place on 23 February and 2 March, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm; and on 9 March in the evening. Station based training will happen on weekends during station duty hours until 4 May.
If you think you have what it takes to be a wildlife volunteer docent, please download the application form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The closing date for applications is 28 December 2012.
More in-depth coverage of the benefits and requirements of the volunteer docent program can be found in the FAQ section of the website.
Wildlife Reserves of Singapore looks forward to seeing you in our parks!
In a world where Australian youths are exposed to the potential dangers of digital technologies from a very young age, there is significant concern that adults — particularly those who grew up in an age before the Internet even existed — are sometimes not well informed enough to be able to keep children safe online.
ThinkUKnow, a joint initiative between Microsoft Australia and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and supported by ninemsn and Datacom, is an Internet safety programme aimed at addressing online safety issues for children. Developed four years ago, ThinkUKnow delivers free, interactive training to parents, carers and teachers across Australia.
Created by the UK Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre, the ThinkUKnow programme started four years ago as a pilot project in three of the eight states and territories of Australia. Since it was nationally launched in February 2010, more than 17,000 parents, carers and teachers in Australia have participated in ThinkUKnow awareness sessions on how to keep young people safe online. The programme is also supported by a website (www.thinkuknow.org.au), with information and resources for adults and young people to find out more about online safety.
More than 220 accredited ThinkUKnow volunteers from partner organisations — including 80 Microsoft Australia employees — regularly deliver highly interactive presentations on topics ranging from cyber bullying to reputation management. Each presentation is delivered by a law enforcement officer and a volunteer from one of the three industry partners.
Commander Glen McEwen, AFP Manager Cybercrime Operations, said awareness and communication between parents and their children is critical to online safety.
Commander McEwen said, “The ThinkUKnow programme has turned out to be a successful platform for educating parents, carers and teachers on how today's young people can safely navigate the Internet. AFP officers are actively involved in pursuing those who seek to harm and exploit children online, but the best weapon we have against online offenders is ensuring that the children themselves know the warning signs and what to do when they occur.”
To date, over 500 ThinkUKnow presentations have been delivered to more than 17,000 people in Australia.
Liz Myers, parent of a student from Stanmore Public School, said, “I really had no idea about the risks of having personal details on social networks and have since removed my family’s personal information, including pictures, from public websites. We've started using filters and parental controls on our home computer and no longer have the laptop being used in the children’s bedrooms.”
“The ThinkUKnow programme has turned out to be a successful platform for educating parents, carers and teachers on how young people can safely navigate the Internet."
- Commander Glen McEwen, AFP Manager Cybercrime Operations, Australian Federal Police
For more information, please visit www.thinkuknow.org.au
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