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Netbooks, PDA and Phones Thread, School App in Technical; Hi, I was just wondering whether anyone has an app for their school? I'm thinking it could be used for ...
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    Divaldo's Avatar
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    School App

    Hi,

    I was just wondering whether anyone has an app for their school?

    I'm thinking it could be used for sharing latest news, alerts for school closures and parents evenings... that kind of thing.

    If anyone else uses one, did you develop it yourselves? How difficult was it? Or did you buy one in?

    thank you.

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    SovietRussia's Avatar
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    I'm currently developing one for us, its a student information app which students login to using their AD credentials, and are presented with events, their timetable and other personalised things.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Divaldo View Post
    I'm thinking it could be used for sharing latest news, alerts for school closures and parents evenings... that kind of thing.
    That's what a website is for - if you're really keen on having an app, make sure your school's website works properly when viewed on various mobile devices and use an HTML-to-app compiler of some kind (e.g. PhoneGap) to generate an app from your website. That way you'll only have one codebase to maintain and the app should be able to be compiled for various different platforms.

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    DrCheese's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Divaldo View Post
    Hi,
    I'm thinking it could be used for sharing latest news, alerts for school closures and parents evenings... that kind of thing.
    thank you.
    We use our facebook for that. It's practically guaranteed that students will check facebook first thing in the morning. If we're closed for snow, it doesn't take long for our students to "share" out our status alerts to help spread the word

    The trouble with making an app is that it's the kind of thing that would get installed & then ignored.

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    Divaldo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions.

    We have a great school website, a VLE, a Facebook account and a Twitter account, all of which are updated regularly. Our students also have email accounts.

    Unfortunately they STILL miss important news on a regular basis, so something that could push notifications to their phone seems like a way forward. They don't have to go checking anything, they just get told. That's the thinking anyway.

    An app could also be something parents could use to keep an eye on what's going on quickly and easily.

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    We have one but 18 months on it has yet to be officially launched and to be honest it is pretty dire. We hired in an outside company who have, supposedly, delivered apps to many schools & colleges. 18 months ago development started, and they said it would take 5 months for the iOS version and two weeks later the Android version. It was supposed to available at the open day last year. Well they dragged their feet and eventually launched the iOS version in April of this year (a mere 6 months late). It also doesn't display properly on an iPad although it is OK on the iPhone. They gave us the Android version for final approval last month, a few days before this years open day in September. I pointed out the obvious glitches with it and they said these would be corrected and then launched to the Google store. Whether or not this has ever happened, I don't know as they won't contact us. Whenever I contact them, our account manager "is in a meeting". The real problem is we paid their final account before delivery.

    What it does, is pick up stuff from our website (the college calendar, news, our twitter feed, and a few selected pages). It also provides links to rail and bus timetables, Google maps, and our Flickr site. The main problem is that we can't update it. We used to run a college bus service with a local bus company and there is a link to their website with our special routes. We've now changed companies, but we can't amend the link as we don't have access the code.

    The whole thing has been a waste of money. We would have been better off spending said money on training courses for one of us and developing the app in-house. It's a good concept and SMT were keen to use it, primarily to attract admissions, but I doubt that it will see a public launch at all now.

  7. Thanks to unixman_again from:

    Divaldo (6th November 2013)

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    Domino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Divaldo View Post

    Unfortunately they STILL miss important news on a regular basis, so something that could push notifications to their phone seems like a way forward. They don't have to go checking anything, they just get told. That's the thinking anyway.

    An app could also be something parents could use to keep an eye on what's going on quickly and easily.
    So, you'd need what a iOS, Android, Windows phone, blackberry and maybe even Symbian version? Otherwise you're providing something that not everyone can use.

    If it's push notifications have you maybe considered an SMS notification system?

  9. 2 Thanks to Domino:

    Divaldo (6th November 2013), north-ict (6th November 2013)

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    north-ict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domino View Post
    So, you'd need what a iOS, Android, Windows phone, blackberry and maybe even Symbian version? Otherwise you're providing something that not everyone can use.

    If it's push notifications have you maybe considered an SMS notification system?
    This is what I was thinking as well from reading the thread @Domino beat me to it.

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    SovietRussia's Avatar
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    For SMS, we use teachers2parents, its very easy to use.

  12. Thanks to SovietRussia from:

    Divaldo (6th November 2013)



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