Without any doubt, mobile apps have become an integral part of our lives, without us even realizing. I mean can you really remember the time when you started using mobile apps and when did they sneakily make you addicted to them? It’s like today no one can imagine handling the proceedings of their everyday lives without mobile apps, which we specifically have for every given thing, be it cab booking, food ordering, movie ticket booking, or even booking a salon appointment. They are RULING our lives and we have no inhibitions in saying so.
Now the number of mobile apps continues to soar and it is really not surprising to find that now there are even school apps, which is actually a great move, after all. You know it will improve communication a big way and these school mobile apps will even help the schools in reaching more parents.
Size of the education software/application market worldwide from 2015 to 2020
So what is the need for school mobile apps?
With the presence of a school website, emergency notifications, emails and other means of conveying information, one may wonder what is really the need to have a school app. Well, I suggest, think again!
For your information, a school mobile app is not just the latest shiny and classy object which has been introduced just to please the parents. On the contrary, it actually works for your school. Now the goals one has in mind for the mobile app may vary from school to school, but the ultimate motive remains to have access to school information and one-to-one engagement. For instance, it makes a lot of things easier, like:
- Registration for any school event can be done
- Have a view of the lunch menu
- Parents can be reminded to vote for a levy
- Promotion of fundraiser can be done
- School calendar can be checked and synced with your personal calendar
Now, these are really small examples as the benefits are immense and they will be unfolded as the article proceeds.
As a school contemplates developing a mobile app, the first thing that comes to mind is to cover every question a parent might have in mind and a school might be keen to answer. Like, if you are a school owner, then you must be familiar with this feeling of a horde of calls coming to your school administration on days when it is raining heavily or in a case when children have not timely reached home. Now by having a school app, these potholes can be covered a lot easier without getting into the tedious communication system.
So, it really is of great help.
Here we will be discussing the various features of a School Mobile App:
- Sign-Up: Parents are required to sign-up to the school mobile app using their social media credentials or via email-login.
- Stay Updated: Allows parents to stay updated regarding school activities via Mobile Apps for Schools, thus they can remain in touch.
- Send Notes: Regular notes are sent to the parents and mobile app ensure that they always receive them.
- Inform about upcoming school events: Especially in the case when both parents are working, they will be kept informed whenever there are any school events.
- Inform in case of urgency: Parents can be timely informed in case of events of raining, or change in weather condition, so to avoid frustration.
- Easily connect with school administration
- Parents can easily access attendance records and result sheets
- Pay fee online
Other ways through which parents benefit via School Mobile App are:
- View diary dates & the school calendar
- View photo galleries
- View Contact details
- View letters home
- View newsletters
- Receive the latest news
- Receive push notifications
- Subscribe to notification groups (e.g. Year 1, Clubs)
- Sign-Up: Just as in Parents App Panel, here as well the students can sign-up to the app via their email ID or social networking credentials.
- Stay Motivated: Students can remain motivated throughout with parents keeping a real-time check on them via the app.
- Updated Parents: Whether they see it as a downside or what, but they just can’t fool parents anymore ;). However, it is better for the future.
- Google Maps: School activities and events can be located with Google Maps
- Newsletters now on Mobile Apps for Schools
- Built-in homework & schedule tracker
- Get latest course information on your Apps instantly
- Pop-up messages & instant alerts
- Send absentee notes
- Financially Sounds: Eliminates paperwork or printing newsletters, hence enhancing financial benefits.
- Send Notes to Parents conveniently: School staff can securely communicate class notes & reminders to the parents via school app.
- Saves Time: School doesn’t have to constantly answer a phone call and reply to unnecessary questions.
- Harmony with Parents: Easy for school management to support & sustain a healthy relationship with parents.
- Fast communication: School administration can instantly communicate with parents whenever needed.
- Reliable: Receipt for every message/ update that has been sent
- No restriction of data: Allow sending pictures, files, PDF, hyperlinks, etc.
Gone are days when school apps were solely for management purposes, as today it plays a great role for parents too. Like in present times, every parent wants to know how their child is performing at school and they are keen to keep track of every little activity happening in their kid’s life. Hence parent’s communication is an important feature in every school app.
Online Fee Payment
No more hassle of carrying hard cash for parents as with the world moving fast towards the cashless systems, so are schools. Yes, online fee payments are made possible with the school mobile apps. And you are missing out on this feature in your school mobile app, then you are heading to big failure, so beware and integrate this feature urgently.
Now, this is an observation of sorts but I believe that all teachers hate taking attendance or maintaining attendance registers. It proves to be a tedious and repetitive task which consumes a lot of their time. So, as you select school software, ensure that it has a great management system, as it allows teachers to take attendance from school app and then the attendance registers can be automatically generated.
Access to Grades
The involvement of parents is crucial in the improvement of your school. One can begin by keeping parents in tune with their child’s grades and besides grades and test scores, they must also be able to check in on homework assignments. This can be really a great functionality for a mobile app.
Real-Time Push Notification: School will be able to send real-time notifications to the parents in regard to their child’s performance. Notifications can be sent of the student’s attendance record as well, besides about the marks they attained in a particular test. Thus, parents are kept in the loop about what’s going on in school and how their kid is performing. Additionally, notifications can be sent when the bus is running late or emergency school holidays and various other things. Whatever the matter is, the school can send notifications 24/7.
Cost-Effective Solutions: Owing to the cost-effective solutions offered by the mobile apps, it is quite simple & economical to connect with the school’s stakeholders and community. Mobile apps allow a school in attaining a goal of becoming a paperless organization that eventually leads to lesser paper-consumption, hence directly saving money of schools. Circular and other important work can be done virtually with the help of school mobile apps making it cost-effective and economical.
Fee Collection: When the mobile apps for schools are integrated with online payment gateway, schools can easily collect fees more effectively from parents, making the process convenient and hassle-free for both. Parents won’t have to go to school or go to any bank to pay their child’s fee and full payment can be made with just a few clicks. Schools can also easily collect penalty and other charges via app, and other activities like picnic fee can be collected as well.
Choose Development Platforms (Web, Android, iOS)
Well, the users can select a platform depending on a number of factors they need to consider. For instance, if we talk about the users in the geographical area of South Asia, they are more certain to prefer Android as it is a lot cheaper as compared to iOS. While the population in European countries are most likely to prefer iOS.
What are the things to consider for School Mobile App Development?
Once all the important features required to develop a sophisticated and quality-rich mobile app have been gathered, begin with the development process. Here are the various aspects that are needed to be covered:
- Quality Assurance
Team Structure required for App Development
The creation of mobile apps for schools is not an easy task and it requires a lot of research and knowledge of the sector. Having the support of expert mobile app development team that excels in the arena of Educational App Development is essential. Once you have a right set of skilled managers, mobile app designers, developers, and testers, you are good to go as it is the first milestone towards the development of brilliant and a successful mobile app. Here is the team required:
- Project Manager: Well-equipped with managerial skills and good intellect, after all these attributes are essential to identify the best in the mobile app industry landscape. Your project manager must find the most productive solutions effective for the accomplishment of business goals and insights.
- Developers: Android App Developer, iOS App Developer, Back-end App Developers
- Designers: Expert UX/UI designers, Graphic Designer
- Testers: A team of proficient and skilled QA experts helpful to deliver smooth and rich experience to users.
The cost to Develop Mobile Apps for Schools
Now the cost of school app development depends on its size & complexity. Other than that, the physical location of the developers and the number of hours consumed in the app creation play a crucial role in deciding over the app development cost. Based on different zones, here we have outlined the cost to develop a featured school mobile app.
- The US-based developers: – $100 to $250 per hour
- Eastern Europe based developers: – $80 to $180 per hour
- India based developers: – $70 to $180 per hour
Now according to the segments to be developed, the actual cost of development of such an app is graphed below:
- Technical documentation (40 hours – $1000 to $2000)
- UI/UX design (60 Hours – $1500 to $3000)
- Front-end and Back-end development (400 Hours – $10,000 to $ 20,000)
- Testing (80 Hours – $2000 to $4000)
After calculating the above overhead charges, the average cost of a school mobile app can be outlined. A reasonable app with limited features may cost up to $8,000 to $25,000 for a single platform and the charges can extend up to $35,000 in case, the app developed is feature-rich and is driven by high-quality standards.
Other Education-Related Resources:
- Education eLearning Solution
- How to Develop an Educational App Like BYJU’s – Cost & Features
- What all you need to know about while engineering an Educational App