Are mobile apps the future of school communications?
The humble mobile app has transformed numerous aspects of our daily lives. From booking a flight to transferring money, booking an Uber, to the freedom to chat with people from all over the world in seconds, to gaming apps that keep us entertained ‘on the go’ on trains, tubes and in waiting rooms.
We live in a busy world that never sleeps, switches off or stops, and habits and expectations have changed drastically in the last 5-10 years, so to harness this phone-friendly lifestyle, schools need to adapt to be able to harness the way in which we all communicate.
By embracing these changes towards the ‘24/7 always-connected’ and ‘on-the-go’ world in which we now live, schools can connect with parents in ways they could only have dreamed about 20 years ago.
Technology has already impacted education and learning in remarkable ways. Children have the world literally at their fingertips. Not only is endless information available to download, stream or interact with at the click of a button, but the ways in which children and young people are able to learn is changing all the time. From games that teach kids how to touch-type, to videos that teach phonics, the internet and advances in computer software, they’ve all enabled a new generation to embrace and explore interactive learning.
The next step for schools is to embrace mobile apps as a way to engage parents in the way that they like to be engaged with. Mobile school apps provide schools with simple streamlined ways to communicate with parents via interactive tools that they are comfortable & familiar with – and it’s a cheaper option than traditional paper methods and restrictive SMS!
The need to juggle the commitments of so many different aspects of family life is an ongoing struggle for parents and with often a lack of time for conversations at the school gate, and a host of forgotten or missed events throughout the school term, schools need to engage with parents in a way that works. By shrinking all of these aspects down into an easy-to-use school mobile app, not only is the communication process with parents simplified, but it can actually improve parent/student engagement with the school and build community and trust. Schools can even have the app set up so it reflects the school’s branding and ethos making everyone feel part of a team.
School apps are becoming increasingly popular from early years through to primary and secondary schools as a way of encouraging parents to invest their time into their child’s school life when it is most convenient for them. It feels like a more personalised, intimate and individual connection and better communication with parents means better support for the child and better outcomes.
School mobile apps can bring together weekly calendar updates, new school uniform lists, important school news and current school policies to the latest Ofsted Report, for example, in a fast and simple single place, which is useful for busy parents.
In the past, admin staff have spent considerable time checking and updating parent email addresses and mobile numbers, but when parents use the school app, if mobile numbers or email addresses are changed, the app keeps parents connected making life easier for everyone. What’s more, it’s very easy for parents to update their own details within their account.
So, whether it’s last minute panic about the dates of the upcoming Teddy Bear’s Picnic, or an early morning worry about whether parents’ evening starts at 6.30 or 7pm, it means children will stop getting told off for forgetting important messages from school, less clutter on the fridge and a more relaxed atmosphere all round.