Using Mobile to Make Parent Communication More Meaningful

Posted July 7, 2014

mobile device

 

Mobile Communication Brings Parents and Schools Closer

Using mobile technology is an excellent way to make the relationship between parents and schools more meaningful. Mobile technology links schools and parents on a much more immediate and instant level, and this increased involvement is beneficial to the student’s learning experience. Students, school administrators, and parents all benefit greatly from the impact of mobile technology.

Benefits for Students

Parent-school communication is important in helping students achieve. Parents who are deeply involved in their children’s education are able to provide support, help, and other aid to the students. The National Education Association states that “children tend to do better in school, stay in school longer, and like school more” when their parents are involved with the educational process.

Transitioning all messaging between the school and parents to mobile is an excellent way to make sure parents are constantly updated with important school information. Basic information like student enrollment times, reminders for holidays and school closures, and even changes to important school policies can all be sent via mobile technology. According to the Pew Research Group, 85% of parents own cellphones, and 97% of parents live in households where at least one family member has a cellphone; electronic communications are a sure way to reach parents. (At SchoolMint, we have seen that reliance on mobile is even higher among families in low income neighborhoods – these are families that have never used broadband internet but have adopted smart phones).

Benefits for School Administrators

Many schools are in high demand in terms of enrollment, and mobile communications will enable parents to respond instantly to openings that appear in schools. The efficiency of lottery systems will be greatly enhanced if schools adopt mobile technology as a means of communication, and parents who are busy with work, travel, or other plans will not risk missing notifications regarding open enrollment slots. The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) argues in favor of increased use of mobile technology in order to better link parents, students, and teachers.

If parents are notified of open enrollment slots immediately and are given the chance to claim them electronically, schools will find their waitlists and lotteries to be more efficient, with less downtime between the time when a slot opens and when it is actually claimed by a waiting parent.

Benefits for Parents

Parents often find it difficult to find the time to speak to teachers directly. Phone calls must be scheduled ahead of time to ensure that both parties can talk, which may not be practical for many working families and teachers. Online communication enables teachers and parents to discuss a student’s performance on their own time, which allows direct access between teacher and parent. Informal communication can also reduce the stress and worry of a formal meeting between parents and teachers and create a more positive atmosphere for the education of the student. Over 68% of parents, according to the NASSP, report that they would prefer text message notifications.

Not only will parents be more aware of school activities, but adopting mobile technology means that parents can receive updates regarding their children’s academic status. A text or email notification regarding a student’s failing grades, for example, would be a powerful tool for schools to use to enhance parental oversight of their children’s activities. A system where parents receive an automated text message if their child fails to turn in an assignment or receives a failing grade on an exam would spur parental involvement and make parents more aware of the struggles their child faces on a daily basis.

Conclusion

Mobile technology offers parents and schools the ability to communicate instantly and without the stress and worry of physical meetings. Mobile school notifications and updates can increase the daily involvement of parents with the school and allow for direct communication between schools and parents. Overall, mobile technology is an excellent way to make parent-school discussion more meaningful. For another blog on this topic, please see Going Mobile: Raising the Bar on Parent — School Communications.

We at SchoolMint strive to make every single parent-school interaction easy and delightful; we have created apps for Android and iOS (phones and tablets) for parents, together with our web and mobile web applications. Contact us or visit our webinars to learn more!

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