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How one school used an app

A medium sized primary school in Hertfordshire approached us two years ago to produce an app. With a school roll of some 400 pupils, their motivation was entirely around reducing the cost of messaging between the school and parents.

Parent engagement, how effective can an app be?

Speak to any app company and they will tell you that an app is the best way to engage your parents. And in the internet world this is the generally perceived wisdom. More and more people are spending more and more and more time on their phones and particularly looking at apps.

So I thought it would be an interesting exercise to look at a real world example.

Your new year parent app checklist

Now that the sunshine has gone and it feels like summer is over it feels like we should be focusing on the new school year hear at apps for schools.
 
We are now helping many schools prepare their parent communication apps for the new starters arriving in September, making sure the app is ready to deceiver the info they need.
 
So I thought it would be worth posting a short checklist of things to complete in the app to get ready: 
 

Can I build an app?

 
I have been building websites for schools for many years now, and a reoccurring theme is schools asking “Can’t we just build a website ourselves?”
The answer of course is Yes, there are a huge amount of tools out there that enable you to quite cost effectively launch a website. You may have to use generic template and be prepared to compromise on certain functions but with a little knowledge you could have a website to be proud of.
 
Now a question that I have never been asked until very recently was “Can we just build an App for ourselves?”

Open forum school apps

I recently had a discussion with a headteacher about the possibility of including an open student forum within their app.

It is something we have discussed here at apps for schools on a few occasions but each time it was felt by the school that the possibility of abuse meant that the pros were outweighed the cons.

Hard times in education

Most people who are involved in education are aware of the difficulty of funding in education. Government cuts, possibly forcing schools to consider acadamisation are happening every day.
We at appsforschools are acutely aware of this. We ar also acutely aware of two other things in education. First that we are at the bottom line trying to sell our products into schools and in order to do this price is important for most schools. Secondly that eae of use and simplification of administration time must be of paramount importance.

Government Cuts

AppsforSchools have very close ties with several senior leadership managers as well as teachers.
We are acutely aware of the massive government cuts being required of schools. It may be part of the government's drive towards grammar schools and acadmies, we don't know, although it appears academies do seem to have more finance. Nonetheless all schools are looking to save money.
Here are a number of ways an app can save you money.
MESSAGING
Are you paying more than £1500 per annum for SMS messaging bundles?
Why?

When you shouldn't get an app for your school?

App technology has been around for school use for around 4 and a half years. Although the functions have improved massively, most schools are under-using the technology. 

 

Could this be the year when your school grasps the technology and makes it do what you want and not allow the app developer to tell you what you should do with an app?

 

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