We often get asked our opinion of School Apps. Schools are often smashed by parents for their lack of communication but on the flipside, parents don’t always read what is available to them – understandably they have a lot on and there are a lot of communications from schools on everything from Book Week to café to sports days to library news etc.
Most schools currently offer:
- A website
- A newsletter
- A magazine (albeit quarterly)
- Facebook page/s (and potential closed facebook groups for year levels/classrooms)
- Email communications
- SMS communications
The question is does your school really need an App to add further communication clutter to the mix?
If you are considering an App, then we recommend you investigate your options thoroughly and understand the costs to set up, maintain and ongoing annual costs. We see the options in Apps as:
- Use an existing school App like schoolstream.com.au They’re tried and tested and more on the affordable side.
- Run with a developer who already builds school apps so your cost base is reduced by their knowledge, templates and no doubt ability to build you one based on best practice.
- Go out on your own and create one from scratch at your own risk and budget.
The main issues we see with Apps are the following:
- The take-up by all parents – you need to ensure they all take it up. It seems to be an issue that not all parents download the App.
- The training of all parents on how to use the App is your next concern.
- The multi-platforms of all users and the updates required to ensure the App performs as required – and the cost to ensure your updates/changes are created etc.
- The internal management / use of the App along with all of your other platforms needs to be considered. It can be resource heavy.
Our advice is simple:
- Get your foundations right – a website that responds to the device it’s being browsed on (responsive), a responsive school newsletter and Facebook page communications.
- Use email and/or SMS for urgent communications.
- Survey your parents first – what do they actually want/prefer/need?