Promote your K-12 business to parent community - Oroola for business

FAQ

WHY OROOLA

What is Oroola and what can I use it for

Oroola is a private, school-based community of k-12 parents and high school students. Oroola allows parents/students to not only to connect with and share information and resources with parents/students from their own school communities, but also from other local schools. In addition, parents/students can find local services such as tutors, after-schools programs, activity classes and local events by way of parent recommendations and through local businesses on Oroola.

When looking for resources such as carpool drivers, baby sitters and other services, it helps to reach out to an extended community beyond your own school and Oroola helps parents expand their network beyond their school boundaries.

My school already communicates through a mailing list (Yahoo/Groups Groups), do I still need Oroola

Times have changed and so has education. While mailing lists fulfilled the communication needs of yester years, it doesn’t provide the same level of interactivity and transparency that we have come to know of and habituated to through use of various modern collaboration tools.

  Mailing Lists Oroola
Generic v/s purpose-built platform Generic, built for all, mailing lists donor include tools required by parents and families Purpose-built specifically for parents of school-age kids, Oroola allows for interactive and more transparent collaboration.  On Oroola parents can ask and provide recommendations, find and share local events and services, post classifieds, etc.
Manually implemented v/s built-in security Moderator dependent. It is hard to verify the identity of members On Oroola, parents are required to go through rigorous onboarding process to ensure membership and security of its members. Oroola also allows parents to report suspicious profiles and inappropriate posts to the system. 
Single-sided communication v/s interactivity Since mailing lists are tools of mass communication and designed to operate through emails, they tend to create too much noise and clutter in your inbox.  The fear and hesitation of spamming everybody on the list limits the interactivity On Oroola a member can limit their interactivity to a single individual, a few handful of people or to everyone. 
Manually implemented v/s built-in spam control Mailing lists tend to receive a lot of spam and hence require a dedicated moderator to control the flow of messages. This also inadvertently could lead to message censorship Oroola has built-in spam and security controls, and also provides its members with ability to report posts as spam or inappropriate
Noise v/s value Many school groups do not allow promotion of for-profit businesses even when they provide valuable information and services to families On Oroola, parents can share valuable information in form of recommendations and promotion of local businesses, events, etc., without creating spam.

My school already has a Facebook Page/Group. Are you saying Oroola is more effective or a better collaboration tool than Facebook?

Though on the face of it, it may seem that Oroola’s collaboration tool is akin to Facebook, there are lot of differences between the 2 tools. a) Oroola is purpose-built for communication and collaboration between parents, which means that parents are automatically, assigned to their children’s school/classroom communities the moment they sign in. b) Parent profiles are made up of information about their school, their role they may play in the school as a volunteer, PTA member, coach, etc. and of their children’s grade information. This allows for easy identification and verification of parent profiles and helps to keep the community safe. C) Oroola is designed to maximize the sharing of valuable information such as recommendations about local family and children-related services, businesses, events, etc. Since Facebook is designed as a generic collaboration tool it is hard to facilitate such specific information-sharing d) Oroola provides custom-built tools such as school finder, parent recommendations and reviews about local schools, curated list of resources, etc. Facebook lacks all these valuable tools and resources

My school already uses tools to communicate with parents, do I still need Oroola

Many schools use different tools to communicate with parents. Some schools use plain old emails, others use tools specifically designed for school-to-parent communication. Nevertheless, these tools are meant for school-to-parent communication. The tools may even support parent-to-parent communication, but parents hesitate using the same tool for parent-parent communication due to privacy issues. Oroola is built specifically for parent-to-parent communication and hence preserves the privacy of such communications.

I can’t find my school on Oroola, what should I do?

There are 125,000 US public, private and charter schools listed on Oroola, so there is a very high likelihood that you would find your school, but in case we failed to include your school, you can submit your school name and some basic information by clicking on ‘School not found’ link below the school finder text box. If we are able to find public information about you school, we shall add it to our list and notify you.

SIGNUP AND LOGIN

How do I sign up for Oroola

You have multiple ways of signing up on Oroola:
  • From the school page
    • Click on Schools in the top menu
    • Type in your city/zip code, then enter partial or full school name (optional) and hit enter
    • Click on your school name
    • Click on “Join Oroola" button
    • Add your email address
    • NOTE: To join multiple schools, you just need to start with one school and you will get an opportunity to add more children/schools to your profile
  • From the Sign up menu
    • Click on the signup menu item
    • You will be guided through the signup process

What information is saved or access by Oroola when I sign up using any of the social networks

Oroola does not access any of your personal information when you login using social networks. The access is provided only for ease and convenience of signing up into Oroola.

Can I invite other parents from my school

Yes, of course. We encourage you to start inviting other parents from your school and classroom to build your community. More members mean an active and engaged school community.

Can I invite friends who do not belong to my school community

Yes, absolutely. To invite friends who are not in your school community, click on the “Invite Friends” menu item in your Settings menu on the top (on your computer) and from the side menu (on mobile).

How can I see members in my school or classroom community

The count of members in your school/classroom community is displayed right under the school/classroom name on the top. Clicking on the count displays member profiles.

SECURITY AND PRIVACY OF INFORMATION

Why do you need to collect my child’s school and grade information?

We need your child’s school and grade information so that we can build and place you in the right school community. If your child is in grades K-6, you will also be able to create or join their classroom communities.

Why is children information displayed along with parent information in member profile?

Parents typically know other parents as X’s mom or Y’s dad and not by their first/last names. Adding children name and grade information to parent profile makes it easier to identify a parent and connect with them. It also adds another layer of transparency and control, which makes Oroola different from other platforms where the member information is completely hidden and hence hard to verify.

Who is able to see my children information?

Your child(ren)'s profile information is exposed only to those parents of the school community to which the child belongs. The parent profile information is visible to all the school communities to which the parent belongs

I am concerned about showing my children’s information in member profile

We understand your concern as we are parents ourselves. We take all precautionary measures to ensure that you children information 1) is not shared with anyone else outside of your particular school community 2) we do not sell, trade, exchange or share any of the members’ personal information with any 3rd party or outside vendor. Besides we display on your child's initials and not their name.

Why does Oroola claim to be safer than other existing collaboration tools

Oroola community members can view profiles of other members in a school community. The profile information, which includes details such as parent name, picture, children information (visible only to that particular school community members), their PTA/volunteer/coach roles, if any, etc., provides transparency and adds a layer of safety. We encourage parents to add profile pictures for added transparency. Mailing lists such as Yahoo/Google Groups do not offer such transparency. Unlike other websites and social networks, we do not track or publish your information or activity outside of Oroola community. What happens in Oroola communities stays within Oroola!

If at any point a member feels that a particular member profile isn’t genuine or that a member poses safety hazard to the community, parents could easily report that profile to the Oroola authorities following which an investigation will be initiated and appropriate action will be taken, including a possibility of deactivating the account permanently.

I would like to report a parent who is behaving suspiciously and making inappropriate posts

To report a suspicious profile, you can go to the profile of that person and on the “Report this member to admin” button in the top right hand corner.

PRIMARY SCHOOL AND CLASSROOM COMMUNITIES

I joined my school community on Oroola, but I am the only member in my school community

Communities on Oroola are not controlled or owned by anyone, so it is the user responsibility to build their own community. We ask you to invite parents and spread the word about Oroola to help accelerate building of your community. In that regard Oroola is similar to any other social networks out there which rely on users to build their networks.

Can I invite other parents from my school

Yes, absolutely. To invite friends who are not in your school community, click on the “Invite Friends” menu item in the blue side bar menu. This menu can be accessed by placing your mouse on the orange box with white horizontal lines (called hamburger menu) in the top leftmost corner.

Can I invite friends who do not belong to my school community

Yes, of course. We encourage you to start inviting other parents from your school and classroom to build your community. More members mean an active and engaged school community.

How can I see members in my school or classroom community

You can find the count of all members in your school or classroom community in the top right corner in the “What is it” box. Clicking on that link will show you the profiles of all the members.

What is the difference between school and classroom community

Classroom communities are limited to grades K-6 only as concept of sharing classrooms in middle and high school completely changes. Classroom community comprises of parents from your child’s classroom. Any messages that you post to the classroom wall are visible to and shared only with the parents of that classroom. On the other hand school community consists of all the members of that school. Classroom community is a subset of the school community. Any message that you post on the school community wall is visible and shown to all members of the school.

How can I become a member of another school community?

To become a member of a new school community, you need to have a child going to that school. To add a child,
  • Click on the gear/settings icon on the top right hand side
  • Select “Edit Profile” menu item
  • Click on “Add Another Child” button
  • When you add a child to your profile and associate a school with his/her name, you automatically become a part of that school community

How can I create or join a classroom community

To become a member of a classroom community, you have to first become a member of the school community. If a classroom community doesn’t exist you can create one, but if one exists, you can simply join it by clicking on “Join” button for that classroom community. To verify whether a classroom community exists or not, click on “Browse Communities” menu item in the blue side bar menu (which can be activated by hovering your mouse over the orange area with horizontal lines in the top most left corner). If it exists, you can join it, else you can create one of your own by “clicking on “+New” icon in the communities section of your school.

Who creates the school and classroom communities

The school communities are created automatically. When you add a child and his/her school and grade information, you are automatically added to the respective school community. The classroom community is created explicitly by the first parent who takes an initiative to create the classroom community. Thereafter parents from that classroom can simply join the community create by the first parent.

Does a moderator need to approve membership into school or classroom communities?

Our goal is to make people’s lives easier. Moderator-based model puts additional burden on moderators to approve/deny membership, and manage safety and hygiene of the community. Oroola is an open membership model, where parents can auto-select themselves to join school and classroom communities. Instead, we provide members with tools that they can use to keep their community safe and secure.

What if I don’t wish to be part of a school or classroom community anymore

If you wish to discontinue your membership from a school or classroom community, you can leave the community anytime by clicking on the “Leave Community” link on the top right of the school header. When you leave a school community, you are automatically removed from all the classroom communities of that school, which means you lose the ability to view/post messages and receive any notifications. But if you leave only a particular classroom community, you continue to be a member of other classroom(s) or your school community, which means you receive all related notifications, and are able to post to and view messages from these communities

How do I find which communities already exist in my school.

To find the communities in your school, click on “Browse Communities” menu item in the blue side bar menu. This menu can be accessed by placing your mouse on the orange box with white horizontal lines (called hamburger menu) in the top leftmost corner.

My child has changed schools, how can I add new school community

To add a new school community, you must have a child go to that school. To add a new child or to edit existing school information for a child, click on the Settings (Gear) icon in the top right corner and then click on “Edit Profile” menu item. In “Edit Profile”, you can either edit the school/grade information for a child or add new child and school/grade information for that child, by clicking on “Add a child” button.

Alternatively, you can search for the school in the top search bar, and then click on “Add Child” button (in School Communities tab)

Can parents/students create groups for after-school clubs and activities?

Yes, Click on Groups in the top menu and click on the ‘+ New’ icon to create a new group. Please refer to question about different types of groups you can create on Oroola.

POSTS AND UPDATES

What are different types of posts/updates that I can make

The different types of posts members can write are a) General updates b) Recommendations c) Classifieds d) Promotions, and e) Carpool requests
  • General updates, as the name suggests are for daily updates
  • Recommendations help you to ask for recommendations for various things, from books to baby sitters.
  • Got your child’s gently used bike or toys to sell, or looking for left-handed baseball mitts, then post a classified
  • If you run a children-related business, such as tutoring, child-care, etc., or know of one that can help parents, feel free to promote them in promotions section.
  • Driving kids around is the biggest pain parents face. If you are looking for some help or are willing offer a helping hand (free or paid), this is the place to post your update

Why are there so many different types of updates

Different types of updates make it easier for users to search for information and to keep their walls nearly organized. Users can filter posts by each of the 5 post categories – general, recommendations. Classifieds, promotions or carpool help.

Can I save a post for later reference, how can I access my bookmarked posts.

Yes, you can mark any post as favorite, either your own or someone else’s. To bookmark a post, simply click on the red heart. A filled up red heart indicates a bookmarked post. To access all your bookmarked posts, click on the heart in the top menu bar, To remove a post from bookmarks, simply click on the heart icon in the post again.

What does unsubscribe from a post mean?

Users receive notifications on new posts and comments on their posts. If you wish to stop receiving these notifications, you can unsubscribe from the post. To unsubscribe, simply click on the “Unsubscribe” icon next to the heart. If you wish to subscribe again, simply click on the icon again.

Can I edit/delete my own post?

Yes, you can edit/delete your own post

What types of files can I attach to posts?

You can attach, Excel, Word, PDF and image files to your posts.

I don’t wish to receive email notifications, how can I stop from receiving emails?

To stop receiving emails from Oroola, you will need to UNSUBSCRIBE from each type of individual email. You can find UNSUBSCRIBE link at the bottom of emails. To unsubscribe from a conversation happening on Oroola, see “ What does unsubscribe from a post mean” question under Posts and Updates. Additionally, each email notification you receive contains an unsubscribe link at the bottom. Click on that link to unsubscribe from that email notification.

GROUPS

What are OPEN, CLOSED, PUBLIC and PRIVATE groups

CLOSED groups are those where all members belong to the same school. If you wish to restrict your group access to parents and students from your school, you must create an OPEN group.

OPEN groups are those where the members can belong to different schools. Example: Boys/girls scout groups, sports league groups, study groups, etc.

Only parents and students are permitted to create OPEN or CLOSED groups

PUBLIC groups are open for any of the Oroola members to join and don’t require moderator approval

PRIVATE GROUPS are private and require moderator approval to join.

Who moderates private groups?

By default the creator of the group is also the moderator of the group. But the creator can choose another person to be the moderator of the group after it is created.

SERVICE PROVIDERS

How can I edit my business profile

You can edit business profile page by clicking on Settings Menu on the top and then selecting Edit Profile

How can I share my post with other local schools

To share a post first create a post and post it to you business wall. Then click on Share and select the destination where you want to post –Groups or Schools. Select schools from the dropdown menu and then select the schools from the list and click share.

Who sees the messages that I post on my business wall

The messages you post on your business wall are seen by all those members who FOLLOW your business page

Who sees the messages that I share from my business wall

When you share a message from your business wall to a list of schools in your network, it is only seen by those parents who belong to that school community AND they FOLLOW your business

How do I add/remove schools from my network

You can add/remove schools in Manage Network area of the Settings Menu. Click on Settings menu and then select Manage Network. Here you can add/remove schools.

How do members discover new service providers

When a new service provider joins the network, all members are notified via in-app and email notification. At this point they can choose to follow the service provider. Parents can also search for the service providers by name or tags and discover new businesses.

Can I invite any parent/student to FOLLOW my page

Yes and No. You can invite parents/students only if you know their email address. You can not search Oroola member by name and invite them to FOLLOW your page.

How can I use Oroola for communication with my existing parent/student customers

To use Oroola as a communiation/collaboration tool, you can create a private group and invite parents/students to that group. You must know the email address of the members to be able to invite them. Please rememeber that only those students who are 13 years or older can sign up for Oroola.

I would like to invite several parents/students to use Oroola, how can I add their email address in bulk.

There are 2 ways you can invite parents
  • From the school page
    • Click on Schools in the top menu
    • Type in your city/zip code, then enter partial or full school name (optional) and hit enter
    • Click on your school name
    • Click on “Join Oroola" button
    • Add your email address
    • NOTE: To join multiple schools, you just need to start with one school and you will get an opportunity to add more children/schools to your profile
  • From the Sign up menu
    • Click on the signup menu item
    • You will be guided through the signup process

EXTENDED NETWORK

What is Extended Network

Extended Network is a network of schools which are not your primary school communities, i.e these are the schools in your neighborhood, but not the ones to which your kids go.

How will Extended Network help me as a parent or a student

Extended network helps parents/students by expanding their network. This helps when parents are looking for services such as carpool buddies or drivers, local tutors, baby sitters or other services. Many times parents and students are looking to find information such as textbooks or other resources and being able to reach out to members from other schools who share the same resources could be very beneficial. For high school students who offer tutoring or other mentoring services for younger kids, they now can reach out to a much wider audience than their own school and they can do so without having to post these messages in different schools groups.

Which schools can I see in my Extended Network

By default there are no schools in your Extended Network. But if you wish you can add local schools within 50 miles radius of your zipcode, to your Extended Network.

What is X-feed

X-feed is a separate area or wall which is an aggregation of messages from your schools in Extended Network.

I would like to ask a question to members in one of the schools in my Extended Network, but I cant seem to post any messages from the X-Feed Wall

Currently we don’t have the capability of permitting messages directly from X-feed wall. To post a message to schools in your extended network, first post a message to one of your primary school walls and then share it with schools in your Extended Network.

How can I add/remove schools from Extended Network

To add/remove schools from your Extended Network
  • Click on Settings menu in the top right corner
  • Click on Edit Manage Extended Network
  • Add/remove schools as you desire

FOLLOW AND SHARE

What happens when I FOLLOW a business/service provider.

FOLLOWing as business/service provider is a way of permitting Oroola to show you messages from these businesses. Businesses and organizations want to communicate their events, products and services to parents. Parents/students who FOLLOW these businesses then see the messages and updates from these services in their Services wall. Parents/Students can follow any service provider within 50 miles radius of their zipcode.

What are private and public posts

Private posts are those messages that can be seen only by the members of your primary school community where the message is originally posted. Private messages CANNOT be shared outside of the school community by anyone Messages marked as public can be seen by both members of your private school community as well as those members who have added your primary school to their Extended Network. Public messages can be shared either with your other primary school communities or with any of the schools in your extended network Private messages are indicated by a closed lock icon, whereas public messages are indicated by an open lock.

How can I add/remove schools from Extended Network

To add/remove schools from your Extended Network
  • Click on Settings menu in the top right corner
  • Click on Edit Manage Extended Network
  • Add/remove schools as you desire

PROVIDER NETWORK

How can I add/remove providers from Provider Network

To add/remove providers from your Provider Network
  • Click on Settings menu in the top right corner
  • Click on Edit Manage Providers Network
  • Add/remove providers as you desire

What is Provider Network

Provider Network is a network of local businesses, organizations, and agencies who cater to parent/student community. You can FOLLOW these providers to keep up-to-date on the their services, promotions, etc. When you follow a service provider, you will start seeing their updates in your newsfeed, which will show up in Promotions wall

What is Services wall

Services wall is a separate area/wall which is an aggregation of messages and updates provided by businesses that you follow. The Promotions Wall allows to keep your main school wall feed uncluttered so that important information is not lost.

What kind of information does Oroola share with Providers on Oroola?

Oroola DOES NOT share any information about its members with any of the providers

Will parents/students start seeing messages in their feed from services that they may not be interested in

No, Oroola shows messages and updates to only those parents/students who they choose to FOLLOW. Plus the updates from service providers are separated in the Services wall so that the main school feed remains uncluttered. Parents/students can UNFOLLOW a business at any time, at which time they will stop seeing messages from those providers in thier Servies wall

Can businesses and service providers search for parents/students on Oroola

No, none of the service providers can search for parents or students on Oroola.

What happens when I UNFOLLOW a provider

When you UNFOLLOW a provider, you stop seeing messages from those providers in your Services wall

What if I am stuck or want to report a problem

To report a problem, to say hello or to complain, you can reach out to us via our feedback form. To access the feedback form, click on "Contact Us" in the footer