It’s only about 15 years ago when schools generally used the occasional paper newsletter to communicate better with parents. Now, there are a number of ways schools send and parent consume news and information; for schools, embracing new technology helps to communicate quickly with parents like never before!
Over the years, we have observed the world of education technology grow and improve; we’ve seen habits change both at home and in the school office. One particular platform schools have found very useful is that of Text Messaging or SMS. In 2012, over 160 billion text messages were sent in the UK; however, year on year thereafter, that number has been in steady declined, with almost half that number sent in 2017, at just over 80 billion. In the wake of the Text Messaging decline, App Messaging or Push Notification is fast taking the place of the Old-School text message, here's why:
Text Messaging Costs
Every provider of a Text Message service to schools has to pay to send out those text messages. They, therefore, pass this cost plus their mark up onto schools. Schools received either a monthly bill for those messages or the provider offers unlimited texting by charging a school a high annual subscription which can sometimes run into thousands each and every year.
There is no incentive for those providers to offer free App messaging to schools or if they do, there is no incentive to make this a default setting as they make millions every year from schools through their mark up on Text messages.
App Messaging is free
Text messaging is a great way for schools to communicate quickly and effectively with parents, however, unlike App Messaging it costs.
App messaging also offer flexibility unrivalled by the old Text message. Smartphone users are accustomed to push-notifications appearing on their screen and serve as a handy reminder to new information, instead.
For most school communications, not all messages are considered critical. Often, messages are alerting parents to newsletters sent, events, lost property, etc. Whilst these messages are important, they are rarely categorised as urgent and, for this reason, App messaging is ideal, helping to build a reliable and constructive relationship between parents and school. For those messages that are considered urgent, is important that 100% of parents are still notified and can react accordingly. Therefore a combination of App messaging and Text messaging (for those parents who haven't downloaded the School App), is appropriate
Parents are more use to receiving App Messages
With an average 160-character limit (including spaces!), SMS rarely offers the flexibility to share truly informative messages with parents.
Text messaging can be a poor platform for sending additional media, such as pictures, forms or invitations. As a result, school messages can sometimes be short and impersonal. Add to this the huge cost of sending hundreds, if not thousands, of text messages every term or the high cost of unlimited text message subscription, schools simply aren’t getting enough for their money.
School communications should be professional, helpful and, importantly, represent your school’s brand and values. When parents use just one App to manage all school communications, they immediately associate those notifications with your school and know they can trust the information they receive. This means parents are more likely to pick up messages quickly and respond as required. Without character limitations, schools can provide parents with all the necessary information for the subject at hand, from sharing photos and from recent school trips, informing parents about events and even linking on the App to all the other systems a school may use such as their payment system, homework system, rewards system and parents evening booking.
With everything in one place on one App, this can help to build a stronger relationship between home and school, ensuring parents feel informed about important news regarding their child and can quickly access all the other parent-facing systems a school may have and use.
Communicating with parents shouldn’t stretch the already tight school budget. School App from Maged has been designed by Teachers, Governors and experts in School-home communication. With price plans from Zero Cost, combining free App Messaging with Text Messaging, we make the most of the latest technology to improve parental engagement, whilst saving schools thousands. Find out more at www.maged.cc