Why School Mobile Apps are the Future of Parent-School Communication

Written by Pano Savvidis // June 27, 2017

The way in which technology has already impacted the education sector is phenomenal. Children have the world at their fingertips. Not only is endless information available to download at the click of a button, but the ways in which children and young people are able to learn are never ending. From games that teach you how to touch-type, to videos on simultaneous equations, the internet and advances in computer software have enabled a new generation of interactive learning. So, what’s the next step?

Since the rise of the iPhone in 2007, the world of mobile applications has exploded. We’re in a world that never sleeps, switches off, or stops. Businesses of all sectors are making the shift towards 24-hour accessibility to allow for this lifestyle. It’s said that the average person spends 90 minutes a day on their phone – 23 days a year! To harness this phone-friendly market, schools need to adapt to be able to compete. The use of mobile apps by schools is a relatively recent advancement – schools are gradually learning to accept that certain aspects of technology, such as social media, must be embraced instead of fought. By welcoming this move towards the always-connected and on-the-go world in which we now live, schools can connect staff to parents in ways they could only have dreamed about 20 years ago.

school mobile app

Whether it’s online banking, business use, or even planning the next holiday to Spain, the use of mobile apps is greater than ever, especially with parents. Parental engagement is an ongoing struggle with many schools. The need to juggle the commitments of so many different aspects of both their life and their children’s lives, can lead to a lack of time for conversations at the school gate, and a multitude of forgotten events throughout the school calendar. By condensing 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 student overall engagement with the school.

School mobile apps must be simple to use. No teacher has the time to spend hours setting up and configuring hundreds of plug-ins and add-ons to make the app match the school’s branding. Even once the app is set up so it reflects the school’s branding and ethos, keeping it updated with recent events and the latest school newsletter can be a time-consuming task in itself. As the education budget continues to be stretched, staff time is becoming increasingly precious. The future of education has to be extremely intuitive and simple for staff to use, therefore, using an app such as School Jotter provides the best of both worlds. It is extremely simple to implement and is integrated with the school website – meaning that when you update the calendar on one, it automatically updates the calendar of the other. Not only is the app simple to set up and keep updated from the school’s perspective, but it is also extremely instinctive when used by parents. Obvious buttons that can be customised to your school’s needs (e.g. – calendar, timetable etc) mean that keeping parents in the loop has never been easier.

parental engagement apps

At the heart of the education sector must be a way of focusing on improving the teaching, well-being and support of the students. A well-implemented school mobile app can improve a children’s learning and support network. Better communication with parents means better support for the child. With School Jotter, parents receive automatic notifications to remind them of upcoming events such as payments for school trips, or non-uniform days. This simple but well-timed reminder can prevent hundreds of children from being left out of educational activities or trips organised by the school. Involvement in these trips can help build up the social and educational confidence of the children. With the school’s blog or news section integrated into the app, parents are even able to get real-time updates of student work or staff and student news from this section, instead of waiting for the end-of-term newsletter. Consistent website integration, notifications and an always up-to-date calendar are as standard with a School Jotter app.

With budget cuts and high competition to get the top performing pupils, schools are having to become more and more business-like in order to attract new parents and students. With the use of a high-quality school mobile app, the school appears professional, modern and interactive. School mobile apps can bring together the school’s website, specific online learning tools, the school’s blog or news section and any parental engagement tools in place. As well as including all of the above, quick links to useful information can be included. Information such as the latest Ofsted report, school policies and uniform lists can all be made easily accessible to both current and prospective parents, ensuring a clear school image across both the website and the app. A school mobile app is a simple and fast way to make your school stand out from the crowd.

Finding ways to encourage parental engagement can be hard for any school. Schools need to engage parents to create a stable and solid network from which children can feel supported both in their studies and in their personal life. By providing parents a simple and easy-to-use platform that’s available on their phone 24 hours a day, schools can support their students in new ways. School mobile apps are becoming increasingly popular for both primary and secondary schools as a way of encouraging parents to invest their time into their children’s school life when it is most convenient for them. So whether it’s a midnight panic about the dates of the upcoming school trip, or an early morning worry about whether parents’ evening starts at four or six, the School Jotter App has you covered.

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