Why Use MyConnect? 

A wise man once said, "Life moves pretty fast ..." and while I don't remember the rest of that quote, I can tell you that the hottest, most trending-est new Web app to instantly communicate with students and parents (while also in full compliance with WSD policies as well as state and local laws and guidelines) is right here, and it's MyConnect.  

 

Gif of Steve Buscemi in 30 Rock FellowKids meme

 

(Okay, some of those things may not be true, but the important ones are, and at least MyConnect saves you from being caught up with a bunch of students in a web of ever-changing apps and group texts, and also from looking like this guy.)

MyConnect allows you to quickly and easily maintain multiple contact lists of students and parents, schedule message delivery, and it syncs up with your MyStudent rolls. So, let's get started!

 

Getting Started

 

 

You can find MyConnect at myconnect.wsd.net.  Just use that same WSD login and password you know and love to log yourself in. If you've used MyConnect before, just skip ahead a bunch. If you haven't, you'll be asked to create your first list right away.

 

Creating a List

 

 

First, name your list, which should probably be something related to the course or sport or activity your list is for. You've only got twenty characters here, so use them well! You can change your List Code as well, and anyone who you have self-enroll to your list will use it to join.

 

If you're making this MyConnect list for a class (or anything that has a roll in MyStudent), save yourself some time by using the drop-down menu under Class That This List Will Be Used For to select the appropriate course. That way, everyone you need will already be on your list. You can also choose to import only the parents associated with a class by clicking the checkbox here, tattletale. It's also a good idea to enter a custom welcome message for your listees to help distinguish your missive from all the lovely email and text spam out there now-a-days. A friendly message introducing yourself and your group works great! When you're ready, go ahead on and click on Create and Continue to Step 2.

 

 

Alternatively, you can create a list from a gradebook in MyStudent with the handy MyConnect button that's been sitting up there in the toolbar all these years, lonely yet cheerfully optimistic about the future. Hang in there, little slugger. This method will also automagically preselect the course and fill the list with your MyStudent roll. 

 

Inviting People to Your List

But enough about that: Let's invite people to join your list! There are two ways: You can send invites, or you can have people self-enroll. Let's cover self-enroll first.

 

Picture of the invite subscribes screen in MyConnect, showing options to join via text, QR code, or email

 

People can self-enroll in your list by scanning a QR code, sending a text, or sending an email. Your list subscribers can also choose how they want to receive messages, via email or text. To self-enroll via text, subscribers can either scan the QR code or text @your list ID to 70288 (e.g. if your list ID is FHSFootball, texting @FHSFootball to 70288 would subscribe you to the FHSFootball list.)

 

Screenshot of a text message to join a list in MyConnect Screenshot of a confirmation screen showing a successful list join via text

 

I feel so included now! Scanning the QR code prefills the text for you, which is nice. 

 

Picture of an email addressed to myconnect@wsd.net with the join code for a MyConnect list

 

Aspiring subscribees (I'm already running out of synonyms for "people on a list," please email suggestions toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), can also sign up for your list via email. Just have them email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with join @Yourlistcode as the first line of the email. They don't even need to include a subject!

... However, it's much easier to send the invites yourself. If you're still at Step 2 - Inviting Subscribers, click Continue and come on over here and join us at Step 2a - Inviting Subscribers. We have cookies! 

 

 Picture of an individual list invitation in MyConnect

 

We have ourselves two options here: either inviting people to your list individually or in bulk. If you're just adding one person, individual is fine, but if you're creating a list from scratch, it's easier to add in bulk. 

 

 

Clicking on Bulk invitations allows you to invite as many people as you'd like via email address — just put a comma between each email (e.g. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., etc.) Your invitees will get an email with instructions on how to subscribe to your list via text or email. When you're ready, click Send!

 

Adding an Authorized User

 

 

 Everything needs to come from somewhere, right? What MyConnect means by adding an Authorized Sender is an email addy or a phone number. Don't worry: Your list subscribers won't see your phone number,  (which is kind of the point) and they already (hopefully) have your email address. We promise not to sign you up for more robo-calling spam than you're already experiencing. Also, you can add more authorized senders later (other teachers, assistant coaches, kicker therapists, etc.) Unless you plan on delegating most of your list creation and messaging to someone else, you might as well go ahead and check Make This My Default Authorized User here, as it will save you ones of seconds when creating lists in the future. 

 

Picture of the initial list setup confirmation screen in MyConnect

 

Finished?

Nah, we're just getting started! Now, let's take a look at the MyConnect home screen:

 

Picture of the home screen in MyConnect

 

Here's where you're going to be doing most of your messaging and list management. You can see the list you just created (and any others you may have) under the Create Message header. 

If I want to send a message now, the first thing I'd do is select one of these lists, then, under Member Selection,  I can choose whether to spam that message to the entire list, or I can choose Select Members and get specific about which people I want to get the message. Allow recipients to reply to message does what you'd think it does, although only you can see the replies, not your subscribers. 

The Title field is just for you  —  when you have a huge list of archived messages and you're not sure whether you've already told your class or team about that one thing they should know about, you'll be grateful that you titled your outgoing messages. Your Message itself can be up to 140 characters of inspirational goodness. That limit may seem arbitrary, but remember that your messages can go out as texts, and while cellular providers limit how much you can say in a single text. Regardless, if you have more to say, just send more than one message. Once you've selected your list and written your message, click Send to send it immediately, or Schedule to set up a time for delivery. Which brings us to:

 

Scheduling Your Messages

This part is totally optional, but handy! Ever feel like you need to say the same thing like, a lot of times? Now, you can automate that. It won't help, but still ...

 

Picture of the Schedule Message menu in MyConnect

 

Anyway, clicking on Schedule brings up the Schedule Message menu, which has many of the same fields as the Create Message screen on the home page (some of these will be pre-filled for you based on your selections in the previous screen).

 

Gif demonstrating scheduling options in the Scheduling Message menu in MyConnect

 

Here you can choose the Frequency of your message's delivery: daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Choose the Start Date (clicking on this will bring up a handy calendar) and end date of your message delivery. If you're sending a message once, these will be the same day, and a repeated message will need a range between the Start Date and End Date.  Here you can also choose the time of delivery  —  and here I should note that while writing this guide, I played around with message delivery times in the wee hours of the morning, and unfortunately I can tell you that it works. 

When you're good to go, hit Schedule, and you're done!

 

Picture of the Create Message menu in MyConnect with a scheduled message displayed

 

All right, all right, all right, now we've got our scheduled message listed in the Scheduled panel, and all is good!

 

Gif demonstrating editing a scheduled message in MyConnect

To edit your scheduled message or its settings, click the Edit button Picture of the Edit icon in MyConnect.  Clicking View Calendar brings up a handy calendar view of all your scheduled messages, and clicking View All Scheduled displays a list view of all your scheduled messages.

 

Proxy Users and Authorized Senders and Stuff

 

Since we're back at the MyConnect home page, let's look under Default Authorized Sender. Your contact info should be here if you chose to make yourself the default earlier, but if not, that's okay, too. You'll see two buttons to the right of your name, the Edit button Picture of the edit icon in MyConnect and the Admin button 

 

 

Clicking on the Admin button   allows you to add Proxy Users  —  faculty/staff members who can help manage and use your lists for messaging. To do this:

  • Select the location of the faculty/staff member
  • Select the person from the drop-down menu, and ...
  • Choose either Edit/Send (can edit the list and send messages) or Read/Send (can send messages, but can't change your lists)

 

Gif demonstrating adding Authorized Senders in MyConnect

 

The Admin screen also allows you to add Authorized Senders, which are really just emails or phone numbers of anyone who can send messages from your list.

 

Gif demonstrating editing default sender info in MyConnect

 

Clicking on the Edit button Picture of the edit icon in MyConnect next to your name allows you to change your Default Sender information.

 

Gif demonstrating expanding the list view in MyConnect

Now, below the sender information, take a look at Your Lists. This will display a list of, well, your lists. Click the arrow Picture of the arrow icon to expand the list view in MyConnect next to any list to expand the view, showing all current subscribers and proxy users.

 

Gif demonstrating editing a list in MyConnect

 

Clicking the Edit button  Picture of the edit icon in MyConnect  next to a list allows you to change the list's name and code. You can also make a copy of the list, or even transfer ownership of the list to another faculty/staff member.

 

Gif demonstrating the QR code button accessing the Join Details screen in MyConnect

 

Clicking the QR-code-ish button Picture of the QR code icon in MyConnectnext to a list allows you to display or print your list's QR code and other list-joining-related details.

 

Gif demonstrating using the Create New List button in MyConnect

 

But wait: There's more! Click the Create New List button whenever you're ready to make a new list. The process is the same as it was the first time, but you aren't. You're better. Stronger. Faster. 

 

Gif demonstrating inviting a person to a list in MyConnect

 

Click Invite to List to send either individual or bulk invites to your list. You'll see a pop-up (again, the same process as the first time above) that will ask you to select which list you'd like to invite people to, the name and email of the invitee, and you can also bring up a printable invite from here as well.

 

The Tools & Help Menus

 

Gif demonstrating the Tools menu in MyConnect

 

The Tools Menu provides quick access to all the MyConnect features we've covered so far, plus some, like the Reply Log. This handy tool catalogs all the replies you've received to all the messages you've sent in one convenient place. 

 

Gif demonstrating accessing the Help menu in MyConnect

 

Last, but certainly not least, the Help menu provides quick access to the MyConnect user manual, training videos, and, perhaps most importantly, not-at-all-exclusive access to the email address of Vince Coates. Go ahead and say "Hello!" to Vince. He's a great guy!

That's it for now for MyConnect. Thanks for sticking around, and one more thing: The best part of using WSD-developed tools like MyConnect isn't just the friends we've made along the way, but the fact that if you'd like to request a change or feature, we're listening! Just email us or send a request through your school tech!