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Boost Your Schools Communications with Students, Parents and Alumni With a Mobile App
Gretchen Pancak

As schools continue to adopt online communication trends, there is one tool that can almost guarantee improved activity and engagement among its end users: a mobile app. Apps' powerful features and time-saving convenience mean that schools connect with their communities and share important news with ease.

A personalized mobile app for your school or school district holds the opportunity to improve your school's online experience.

Here's how:

You'll Enhance Overall Engagement

Creating a mobile app capitalizes on the busy and on-the-go life style of your end users. Between carpools to soccer and extended hours of theatre rehearsal, students and parents want the convenience of having information one click away.

Enter: the mobile app — which essentially allows full access to calendar items, athletics updates and more, without needing to log into a mobile browser.

For today's digital natives — and even parents —checking apps on a smartphone has become second nature. In one survey that compared mobile app to mobile browser use, users said they spent about 89% of their time in apps, and only 11% using a mobile browser like Safari.

(Of course, that doesn't discount the importance of responsive design. Mobile apps are simply a complimentary feature.)

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It Adds Value to a Responsive Site

By creating a mobile application for your school, you create a process that is preferred by your user and most likely to increase communications. While responsive designs are great for viewing your site on multiple devices, a mobile app offers the informations your community needs in its most accessible form.

It is obvious that student and parents' schedules are hectic, without time to sit at a computer to scroll through a school's website. This is where a mobile app becomes critical.

One school that has taken advantage of the opportunity to go mobile is Fairfield Preparatory School in CT, who launched a responsive website design last year, changing the user experience for website users. Despite going responsive, Fairfield Prep decided to keep their mobile app as well.

Colleen Adams, Director of Communications for Fairfield Prep, "We've had a positive response and knew this was essential to reach our viewers on different devices."

Users of the school's app have accessibility to the information they need just one click away. Checking for updates, current events and other important information on a school's app saves time from clicking through multiple interfaces, and gets users to where they want to be, fast!

"We have been using the Finalsite mobile app for years, which streamlines our communications, such as athletic schedules in real-time so our players, parents and coaches get the latest info, on their phone app," said Colleen.

The mobile app also offers push notifications — meaning that parents will no longer show up at that cancelled soccer game due to inclement weather. When you use Finalsite's mobile app, your constituents will also have a single sign-on to their LMS to quickly check homework and messages.

Improve Technology Usage

Having a mobile app for your school gives your community one more place to connect with you online. Apps encourage parents, students and alumni to adopt to a more modern way of searching for, and receiving information about your school.

An app can help your image too: having a reputation as a school that invests in technology and promotes online engagement positively affects your school's overall image for current families and prospective students.

The same goes for alumni as well. By providing alums with access to the mobile app, they can gain quick access to what's happening at their alma mater. Schools can showcase classmate updates and campus improvements to keep alums informed and connected, as well as provide a private directory to help them keep in touch.

Overall the use of a mobile app for schools can only help to increase their overall connectivity with students, parents and alumni. Having constant access to important school information while on the go makes a mobile app an extremely valuable resource to any school.

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