I had some negative feedback from Teachers and IT Technicians when I first created Freeperiod. Some commenters on the TES forums asked “Why should we pay for an online booking system to manage our school’s IT resources when our current solution is free?” Maybe a better question to ask is, “How much of my time will this free solution take up and can my school manage the solution if I leave?
When creating Freeperiod I made sure the booking process took as little time as possible. Teachers are busy and their time is stretched. I wish I had a pound for every teacher who said to me jokingly, “free period, what’s that?” Originally a friend suggested we called our website Getaroom.com but I don’t think he was serious.
Freeperiod also has very little administration. Truth be told when there is work to be done most schools email us and we do it for them. We have stuck to this simple approach for the past ten years and it has worked well for us.
I was presenting a business proposal to a company a few years back and their manager shocked me by saying, “so Chris, what happens to the project if you are knocked down by a bus?”. From a management perspective it’s always worth having a long term view before you go down the route of a free solution.
For those already busy teachers and technicians I leave you with the words of an old children’s tv programme, “Why Don’t You … Go Out and Do Something Less Boring Instead?”