This article will give you 13 reasons Why Your School Needs a Mobile App
We are well into the middle of the smartphone era. The number of users is expected to hit 4.77 billion in 2017 and will continue to escalate to over 5 billion by 2019. There are already more people using mobile devices than desktop computers and 60% of web surfers access the Internet using a mobile device.
Mobile Apps Vs. Mobile Websites
So you are convinced that your school needs to go mobile. Which do you need a mobile app or a mobile optimized website?
The short answer is both. While a mobile website is great for getting initial information and news, it is still rather difficult to navigate. If you need to go there often the buttons are small and there is too much information to sort through to do so efficiently. Furthermore, there are several steps that you must go through in order to get to a mobile website. First you have to open up the browser and then sort through your bookmarks.
Since a mobile app is designed to work on small screens the buttons are larger, and the app can be accessed with one touch. So if the user wishes to access information about the school on a regular basis it is easier and more convenient than an optimized website.
A mobile app is really designed for people who are already involved in the school, like the parents, the teachers, administrators, and students.
Below are 13 Reasons Why Your School Needs a Mobile App
1. One Place Information
Most schools today have at least a Facebook and YouTube account and many have Twitter and Instagram as well. Add to this login pages, parent handbooks, and administrative notices and the school blog, this can make it confusing where to find the latest information about what’s going on in the school. A mobile app centralizes everything into one place.
2. Push Notifications
A push notification is an instant message that shows up in the feed of your tablet or phone as well as within the mobile app itself. These messages have a 90% open rate, as compared to email which averages a 25% open rate. You can create subscription alerts to your mobile device that will notify of emergency communications such as school lockdowns, severe weather threats or just regular news updates such as when the football team wins a game.
3. Improves Parent Engagement and Enhances Collaboration
When parents have easier access to things like the school events calendar and receive notices about upcoming school games, plays or other activities they can be more involved. This leads to greater collaboration between teachers, administration and parents and the kids come out as winners.
4. Improves School Efficiency
The school administrators and teachers oftentimes have to do repetitive work such as writing calendars, calling parents or repeatedly answering the same questions over and over again. With a mobile app this information can be published once and the parents can access it anywhere at anytime.
Not having to print out things like newspapers, newsletters and parent handbooks means that you reduce paper waste and administrative costs; creating a neater and greener solution for your school.
6. Automates Email Forms
Email forms pre-populated with the correct address can be created and saved to the mobile app for quick and access. This enables you to fill out forms such as absent notes, permission slips for field trips or volunteer work, and medical information.
7. Bridges the Technology Gap
While some households may not have a computer and Internet available to them, almost all of them will have a smartphone or tablet. Research says that smartphones and tablets are replacing desktops and laptops for accessing the Internet. This means that schools can improve communication and information flow to less privileged students and parents by creating mobile apps that are more accessible to today’s families.
8. Convenient for the Parents
A mobile app makes finding information about your child’s upcoming play or sporting event easy to find at 2 a.m. in the morning. Knowing when their school fees are due, or when the terms ends also makes planning family events much easier
9. Student Journalists
Newspapers, magazines, and TV news have gone digital. An app can be the building blocks for budding future journalists. School newspapers are often times where students get their first taste of journalism. A mobile app can host a newspaper, a magazine, and videos helping your students to build valuable digital media skills in the process.
10. School Pride
Do you want to see the winning goal of the last football game, pictures from the last school dance, an art event or listen to a song from the last school musical? A mobile app gives you a medium from which you can conveniently view all of the latest, photos, videos and even listen to music or podcast that your students created.
A mobile app is a great way for alumni to keep up to date with what’s going on at the school. This enables them to participate in events or make donations.
12. Live Streaming
If you can’t make it to an event such as a school play, a sporting event, or a musical recital it’s easy to setup live streaming in a mobile app. Thus an event can view the event on a tablet or smartphone.
13. Attendance Tracking
Setting up a digital system of attendance tracking is simple in an app. This means no more paper notebooks or having to hand copy things from one place to another. In addition, the data is exportable to a spreadsheet so that it can be integrated with a grading system.
In conclusion, I’ve given you 13 reasons why your school needs a mobile app, but there are plenty more. Mobile apps are the fastest growing industry in history and it’s going to continue for the foreseeable future. As technology develops we will see things like the integration of virtual and augmented reality which will change the face of education and human learning forever.