Works like a “Charms”?

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perang
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Works like a “Charms”?

Post by perang » Thu May 08, 2014 6:37 am

My band program uses Charms Office Assistant to keep track of uniforms, equipment, and serves as a communication method to parents and students. Is there a comparative online system like Charms out there for marching band programs, maybe even for free? Or is there anything such as a social network (other than Facebook) that could function to help as a management system for the scholastic marching arts? :read:

Please post if you have any info

teacherken
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Re: Works like a “Charms”?

Post by teacherken » Thu May 08, 2014 9:35 am

I've been using Charms now for the last 8 years. I've looked high and low for an equivalent product, and while there are a couple that can do many of the same things as Charms, there are none that do them all, and even those are in the same cost bracket.

A few friends have shared various Excel files that do things like the finances, uniforms, etc. And then they supplement that with a Google calendar of some sort, and Google docs, etc. But it lacks the cohesion, and frankly the convenience, of a suite of applications like Charms.

Most notably, for those unable to afford SmartMusic, the Recording Studio on Charms I found to be invaluable with various playing tests and assignments. The built-in metronome and tuner take away the excuses from students about being able to buy one. And the attendance feature, from a legal standpoint, is exceptional for my classes that exist outside of the normal school day.

We're just now really delving into the volunteer notification parts of the program, although the sign-ups have been exceptional. (I even use it for room sign-ups for overnight events.)

Ken

magicsax22
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Re: Works like a “Charms”?

Post by magicsax22 » Thu May 08, 2014 11:41 am

I don't use Charms so I can't speak to what it does. If you could perhaps list what it is you are trying to accomplish, perhaps I can figure out some ideas. I know many groups have a website with a Google calendar or similar.

I have also heard good things about www.remind101.com from a few directors. Basically everyone signs up and the teacher can send out mass text messages through the site without having to have everyone's phone number programmed....or having their own phone number appear to everyone.

I mostly keep spreadsheets for everything. I make itineraries and print/copy them for students, as well as having a kid post them on Facebook since I don't run the band Facebook or even have my own account.

Norman

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Re: Works like a “Charms”?

Post by teacherken » Fri May 09, 2014 7:03 am

Charms "capabilities"

Student database
All students with ensembles, class schedule, measurements, parent information, personal instrument information, locker assignments, etc.

Communications
Ability to send mass emails, can be "filtered" by grade, ensemble, trip, etc. Allows for text messaging. Can be done through smartphone app. Keeps record of all sent emails/texts.

Inventory
Maintain inventory of all instruments and equip, tracks instrument assignments, repair, costs, etc.

Library
Maintain library of all music, books, CDs, DVDs, etc. and allows for individual music distribution and collection.

Calendar
Allows for public and private calendars of events, allows for individual event schedules to be easily accessed, has mechanism for volunteer sign-ups including scheduling, tracking, and reminders, allows for tracking attendance for calendar events

Finances
Tracks student finances including "fees," fundraising, rentals, spirit pak sales, trip funds

Store
Allows for the online sales of whatever materials you like, and even allows those to be available to the public. I use it for spirit pack items and band disposables (reeds, valve oil, etc.)

Gradebook
Similar to most available grading programs. I do not use this because I am required to use the school-based program.

Paperwork/Forms
Allows you to upload documents that students and parent can access. If you have a form that must be turned in, like a medical release form, it allows you to track that.

Assessment Tools
Studio allows students to record playing assignments. You have the ability to assign grades and report back comments to the individual students.

Uniforms
Tracks all uniforms, allows for checking-out of uniforms to specific students, uniform check-in, uniforms in need of repair.

Ken

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Re: Works like a “Charms”?

Post by Schimmy » Fri May 09, 2014 7:09 am

Charms is worth every penny you pay for it. There is a bit of a learning curve when you first start using it but most people with computer experience shouldn't have a problem. I used to use excel sheets and complex relational databases to keep track of everything. Now I use Charms and it has saved a lot of time. Use it, pay for it and enjoy.
"The audience is always listening"

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Re: Works like a “Charms”?

Post by mariahorn » Mon May 12, 2014 2:43 pm

https://www.ututti.com/

Here is something that can do a lot of the same things that Charms does for less money, though I'm sure Charms is the better choice.

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Re: Works like a “Charms”?

Post by teacherken » Tue May 13, 2014 7:46 am

[quote="mariahorn"]https://www.ututti.com/

Here is something that can do a lot of the same things that Charms does for less money, though I'm sure Charms is the better choice.[/quote]

Interesting... so in summary...

Advantages to ututti: public web site (how customizable?), $56/year less

Advantages to Charms: group text messaging, recording studio, bar code input, library?, uniforms?, live online support, specific director mobile app

Push: finances (budgeting, fundraising, student "accounts"), student management, calendars, inventory?, group email, assistants, mobile access/app

Choice: interface - what do you prefer?

Since both have a free trial, I'd recommend checking each and deciding what you feel most comfortable with.

perang
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Re: Works like a “Charms”?

Post by perang » Tue May 20, 2014 8:07 am

Thanks for the info everyone!

I am still looking into everything. Someone that I know also suggested edmodo.com for a try. Though it wont do the same things as Charms and its not music focused... it is education formated.

Anyone else have a suggestion?

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mariahorn
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Re: Works like a “Charms”?

Post by mariahorn » Tue May 20, 2014 11:56 am

You might be able to get more suggestions if you asked this question in the director's lounge. Not all directors read the marching band forum posts

stewartjames008
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Re: Works like a “Charms”?

Post by stewartjames008 » Fri May 30, 2014 8:52 pm

charms is the best in the business. I have many friends using charms. They take care of many issues of band management.

chandler760
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Re: Works like a “Charms”?

Post by chandler760 » Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:34 am

Will Charms help with financials, such as creating budgets, P&L reports and 501c3 tax filing or would we still need QuickBooks or an equivalent product to help with that?

Thanks,

Chandler Paris
Mountain View High School Band Parents Association
Tucson AZ

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Re: Works like a “Charms”?

Post by teacherken » Sat Apr 11, 2015 2:36 pm

It will help with a lot of that (budgets, accounting, 10-99s, etc.), but I don't specifically know about 503c info... Ask the folks at Charms directly. They have live chat on their website, www.charmsoffice.com

Ken

chandler760
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Re: Works like a “Charms”?

Post by chandler760 » Tue May 12, 2015 7:49 pm

I have some questions about email. I know that we can setup more than one email for a student. If we use the second and third email slot for let's say parent 1 and parent 2, will we be able to create an email that will only go to the parent email addresses for that student? Is there a better way to do it?

Thanks,

Chandler Paris
Mountain View High School Band Parents Association
Tucson AZ

teacherken
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Re: Works like a “Charms”?

Post by teacherken » Wed May 13, 2015 1:36 pm

[quote="chandler760"]I have some questions about email. I know that we can setup more than one email for a student. If we use the second and third email slot for let's say parent 1 and parent 2, will we be able to create an email that will only go to the parent email addresses for that student? Is there a better way to do it?

Thanks,

Chandler Paris
Mountain View High School Band Parents Association
Tucson AZ[/quote]

Each parent creates their own profile, or you can plug it in for them. When you decide to send out a group email, you determine the list to choose from, student, parent, both, etc. You can then delete individuals from the list if you so choose.

When you send an individual email to a student, it sends to the student and parents, unless you do it through the group email.

When you group mail financial statements, you are given a screen to send to only parents, only students, or both.

Ken

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Re: Works like a “Charms”?

Post by teacherken » Wed May 13, 2015 1:36 pm

[quote="chandler760"]I have some questions about email. I know that we can setup more than one email for a student. If we use the second and third email slot for let's say parent 1 and parent 2, will we be able to create an email that will only go to the parent email addresses for that student? Is there a better way to do it?

Thanks,

Chandler Paris
Mountain View High School Band Parents Association
Tucson AZ[/quote]

Each parent creates their own profile, or you can plug it in for them. When you decide to send out a group email, you determine the list to choose from, student, parent, both, etc. You can then delete individuals from the list if you so choose.

When you send an individual email to a student, it sends to the student and parents, unless you do it through the group email.

When you group mail financial statements, you are given a screen to send to only parents, only students, or both.

Ken

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