Schools need an app to communicate and keep in touch with the parents and students. Some preschools have their own mobile app and it helps them
have a structured form of communication. Preschools however, are unable to develop a school app due to the cost and time factor. Not only the development of a school app, but maintaining the app, making regular upgrades, fixing bugs etc are not feasible. They choose chat platformsinstead to keep in touch.
Chat platforms are great for personal use. Let us say, platforms like Whatsapp have over 1.5 Billion Users and everyone we know have whatsapp on their mobile. You can chat, send videos, pictures and even voice messages.As easy as it is to reach someone on a chat platform, it is really useful for businesses and institutions such as schools to use it for their school purpose?
If you are an app for school and a school communication app,to keep in touch with parents or students, weigh the pros and cons of using a chat platform for your school.
|Used worldwide. Easy to use app to send photos, videos, documents instantly.||Great for personal use. Comes with a lot of clutter. Retrieving messages in a linear chat thread is a nightmare.|
|Free to use tool for parents and schools.||Free and hence has limitations. Schools cannot share timetables, daily reports, progress cards to parents.|
|Great for two way communication||Lack of structure. Schools will have to read comments as a chat thread only. Parents will not be able to like, comment or share using seperate threads for teachers to see and respond.|
|Get instant responses from parents.||Takes away a lot of productive time of teachers by constantly checking messages of not just the school group but other groups as well.|
|A great chat platform||Schools need a tool beyond chat. For example: Attendance marking or application of leave. Collection of fees, tracking payments, sending fee reminders etc cannot be done using a chat platform.|
|Can create multiple groups for schools||Multiple groups create a lot of confusion. It gives a spam feel for parents to get so many notifications|
|Can send unlimited messages in the group.||Cannot unsend messages in chat. Cannot edit sent messages either.|
|Simple, easy layout.||Cannot customise templates that are suitable for your school. Can only use school logo in the profile picture.|
|Can send upcoming event information as text and image.||Cannot get exact RSVP. Have to manually count the no of parents who has typed Yes/ No or other messages to keep track.|
|Ability to share images, videos, documents to other group members||Parents do not want to download all images to their device. They may only want to choose those pictures relevant to their child.|
So is Whatsapp a good tool for Schools?
If you are a small school with 10 to 15 students,chat platforms will work great. But if you have more students and have multiple whatsapp groups to manage different classes, it is best to use a mobile app for school.
There are two ways to get a school app. You can either develop a school management app from scratch using the help of app developers or opt for a school app platform that is readily available such as ONNE. In both options, you will be able to customise your school app to suit your school’s need. The first option will take months to develop while the latter is an instant, ready to use app.