As of 2019, WhatsApp is the most popular global mobile messenger app worldwide with approximately 1.6 billion monthly active users. This is more than any social media platforms such as Facebook or Wechat. So far so good? Whatsapp is also a super easy app to use. Once you install it, you can invite contacts and start messaging them right away. Perfect for keeping in touch with friends and reaching out at any given point of time. Overall - It is a great tool for personal communication.
When it comes to business communication, disadvantages of whatsapp weighs far more than it's advantages. A quick read on the Pros and Cons of Whatsapp for schools will help you understand why your school will not benefit using whatsapp for communication.
So why is whatsapp for school a waste of time? Here are 6 solid reasons to avoid using whatsapp for your school communication.
Your Data Is At Risk:
An article in Huffpost reveals how Whatsapp has been providing third party access to messages sent over their platform and to other company’s servers. Whatsapp took a lot of heat recently. Although they deny such claims, there are enough reasons to prove how your school data is not safe while using whatsapp. There are reports to show that Whatsapp is misleading people with the ‘end-to-end-encryption’ term while it is quite the opposite. In fact groups chats are completely open and stored in the cloud for easy access. Their prompt to ‘how often you would like to back up chat’ is a simple user experience tweak. Their system encourages you to expose your private data to third party sources. The pop up should read as ‘’do you want to back up your information’. Instead it reads as ‘how often you would like to back up your chat’’.
In three-person group chats through the messaging service, there is an 87.5% probability that the chat is being stored in the cloud, and the number increases with the more members that join the group chat. For groups of five members it is nearly 97% and for those with seven it is 99%. Simply put, there is virtually no such thing as encrypted group chats in WhatsApp. - Huffpost
School’s Productivity Goes Down:
By virtue of everyone being on whatsapp, we cannot ignore the fact that messages are sent at ease. However, it is important to note that chat is actually killing your school productivity instead of enhancing it. Since whatsapp only functions as a linear communication chat platform, it gets difficult to retrieve conversations and agendas that are shared via chat. Endless scrolls to see what was told when, takes away precious productivity time. Imagine the school sending a message on whatsapp about an upcoming Christmas event, with details on different dress code for different classes, based on the child’s participation. The message will be sent by the school, at least a week or two in advance, to let parents prepare or purchase the necessary items for the event. However, as the days close in, chat grows and the message gets lost in the chat thread.
Being an impersonal tool for communication, there are more cons using whatsapp for schools or businesses than the pros to speak of.
It also opens up spammy forwards, ‘good morning’ messages and forwarded links that are not relevant to the school within the school group. Constant beeps of messages also gets annoying. No wonder they say chat for businesses as 'Death by a 100 beeps'
We find a lot of people at workplace as well in holiday destinations using WhatsApp. I feel with this present WhatsApp era people are getting more and more distracted. It brings down a person's productivity to a large extent. - Surekha Krishnan, indiastudychannel.com
Parents Contact Numbers Are Exposed:
When a school creates a whatsapp group to keep in touch with parents, the profile picture and the numbers of other parents, who are invited to the group is visible to all. This can open up a new can of worms. Parents adding other parents contact details to their phone is one. Grouping together against any school decision or some announcement is another and so on.
This can make it difficult for the school to run their operations smoothly. It is difficult to please everyone in a group and there will be one or two naysayers everywhere. When a school gets a mobile app, contact numbers are not exposed to other parents. They will receive messages and can comment. However, there is limited possibility for interaction between parents in a school communication app.
Hard to have a professional mindset on a personal app:
Whatsapp is an app to chat. To exchange messages between friends and family. It is not a business tool and by design is only developed with limited features to provide what it is actually created for - CHAT. How can you expect professionalism when you open whatsapp to see messages from your children or family group or a college group? While the intent is to open your school group? The seriousness and professionalism is lost.
Here is another scenario. While teachers pick up their phone to respond to messages from parents, they are quickly drawn in to other chat messages which are ‘’personal’’. And it has nothing to do with their work. We are all part of different whatsapp groups and chat is practically active 24X7. A school alumni group is on whatsapp for instance. With friends who live in different parts of the world, this chat group never sleeps. Therefore when teachers open whatsapp for checking messages on their school group, there are enough distractions to take them away. Whatsapp is addictive.
Whatsapp lacks School ERP Software features:
End of the day, whatsapp is a communication tool which is ideal for personal use. By using whatsapp, irrespective of the business you are in (school or a laundry service or a coaching centre) you can only chat with parents or your customers.
A school app however, provides features and functionalities that are created to cater specifically to a school’s needs. Some of the most important features in a school app are timetable management, homework assignment, daily activity report, sending instant alerts, grouping classes, assigning multiple admins, report card generation, payment collection, invoice creation and reconciliation of payments, automated reminder system, absentee marking and more.
Whatsapp will not be able to provide these kinds of functionalities or features that are necessary for managing and running your school.
One Device for One user:
As a school owner, you may want to have multiple teachers manage various sections or parts of your school app. Whatsapp lacks multiple admin facility and is restricted to one device for your school account.
This means the owness to communicate and manage your school function is restricted to one person only. However, a school management software or a school app will give you the freedom to assign multiple admins with varying access levels. ONNE app for schools have multi admin access rights. Any number of people can be given super admin or admin rights. As an owner, you can have complete control of the app and also an overall view.
If you are a school relying on whatsapp , you will be in a better position to answer this. Should Whatsapp Be Used for School Management? Read about Everything you need to know about using Whatsapp for Schools