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Lyall Bay School plugs into families with its own mobile app

Sep 5th, 2013 | By | Category: Latest News, News

skoolbagMAIN1FORAGING in school bags for lost newsletters is a thing of the past for parents of Lyall Bay School students – thanks to a mobile app.

The school has been using the mobile app Skoolbag to provide families with newsletters and important notices for a year and the process is working well.

It is a good way to inform parents of what is happening in the school, said deputy principal Clint Chalmers.

“We’ve got a website, we’ve got Facebook, we’ve got Twitter and now we’ve got the app,” he said.

The app also enables the school to send out alerts in the case of a natural disaster.

Despite having a “reasonably slow take-off”, more parents are starting to use the app. More than half of the families at the school have downloaded it.

“It sped up after the storm we had earlier in the year,” Mr Chalmers said.

The school was able to send out alerts to parents via the app informing them that the school was open.

Parents are also able to update contact details and fill out a form on the app if their child is going to be absent from school.

People who do not have a smart phone can also access all the same information via the control centre for the app, available on the school’s website.

Skoolbag, created by Australian company iimage, was initially set up as a web app in late 2011 to gauge interest in the school market place.

After a few months of long hours and hard work, the full mobile app was available by early 2012, company director Andrew Tsousis said.

The idea was born one “mad dash to school morning” when a note needed to be signed for school but it couldn’t be found in the school bag.

“This was the light bulb moment,” Mr Tsousis said.

The app is currently used by over 600 schools from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Each school who subscribes to the service is provided with their own personal version of the app which they can then meld to fit their own needs.

The company plan on expanding the functionality of Skoolbag to make it even more relevant to any school’s day-to-day routine.

Mr Chalmers said it is a brilliant idea and Mr Tsousis is “very receptive to what you say and very quick to fix any issues”.

There will be six staff members at the school who can update the app so if a disaster occurs someone will be able to let families know important information.

“I certainly think it’s the way of the future,” Mr Chalmers said.

In New Zealand, Te Anau School and Kaikoura Primay School also currently utilise Skoolbag.

 

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is a Whitireia journalism student originally hailing from Tauranga with a love for polar bears and airplanes. She is currently covering the Lyall Bay/Kilbirnie area of Wellington.
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