Great communication lies at the heart of any successful organisation. Over the last couple of decades, we’ve seen amazing changes and innovation in technology – benefiting the wider community and businesses. Technological solutions have also been making a difference in schools around the UK.
Staying in touch with parents and building engagement has always been a big part of Ofsted’s drive for better schooling. For most schools in the 20th century, this meant sending out paper communications and picking up the phone when there was a problem.
Over the last two decades, one major change has been that most of us nowadays carry around a smartphone. These mini-computers have been integral to not only making communication cheaper and faster for schools but have helped build stronger connections with parents.
The Rise of the School App
Communication in the 21st century began with what is now called the traditional school website, where teachers and heads could put up information that parents were able to access easily. While these remain, many schools nowadays are moving towards dedicated school apps.
In the past, it would have cost a lot of money to develop a piece of software such as this. Today, school heads can access on-demand services and create a fully functioning and effective school app at a much lower cost.
The Benefits of School Apps
One of the huge benefits of developing a school app is the increased number of options when it comes to communication.
Most parents have a smartphone or tablet and can download the app to their desktop in a few seconds. Access is as simple as tapping the icon, giving them all the information they need including details of upcoming events as well as the chance to download important information.
Apps can also send push notifications – short messages to users that appear instantly on their screens, wherever they are in the world. This is ideal for updating parents with important information. If there is a change to the school timetable, the admin department doesn’t have to mobilise to get the information out. A simple text sent to all users can be completed in just a few minutes, if not seconds by a single person.
The first school apps were fairly rudimentary but have developed considerably over the last few years. More and more features – including sickness and absence reporting and linking to the school’s local management system – have been added.
Many of these features come as standard which is why school heads don’t have to reach out and find a developer and pay them for the complete design from the ground up. Instead, schools can build relationships with dedicated app suppliers and pick and choose from a whole menu of different features.
Better Outcomes with School Apps
What has been noticed is that, with better communication between schools and parents, there has been more engagement. Parents can now access a whole host of information, for example, pay for school events and trips online, and remain in constant contact without making any more effort themselves.
There’s no doubt that communication in the 21st century has been transformed and that can only benefit children’s learning today. Giving parents an engaging portal that boosts engagement and has many different benefits not least ensuring they feel an integral part of the process.