When I first saw the Teacher App in development over two years ago – it was fairly clear that it was just the start of a project to revitalise access to the data within SIMS and modernise the experience. So, it should come as little surprise that at BETT this year – it is being joined by a Parent and a Student App. In today smartphone era, it makes sense that this is the way that we want to consume data and respond quickly to “alerts”. Students particularly are used to this idea; and many parents are getting on board with the idea now too. Now, some schools have been in the “App age” for a while – with various products for home – school communication; but the trouble is, they were only suited to their small niche – basic information; and didn’t link into anything at the heart of a school – the MIS.So, with the SIMS Parent app, schools can easily communicate with parents – in the modern way, rather than via text or calling. The information will be there for them on-demand. Whether it’s sharing information on attendance, homework or school reports, parents can stay on top of their child’s progress. The app pushes information directly to parents for them to view on their phone, tablet or PC at their convenience – much like the Teacher App does for teachers. From a clear dashboard parents will be able to be fully informed about their children – even across different schools (assuming they have set up SIMS Parent). Every thing about their child’s school life is covered, and will even alert parents if a child has missed a lesson or not handed in their homework (configurable). It also provides an opportunity for schools to receive the most up-to-date information from parents, such as contact details – an evolution of the Parent Contact update which was part of SLG featured previously. The SIMS Parent app makes parents much more accessible for schools to communicate with, making for more meaningful conversations at parents’ evenings and ultimately, more engaged parents. When I first saw the app back in December, it looked well-polished then, and several comments appear to have been taken on board. Im looking forward to seeing it in use.
Meanwhile, the companion app for students aims to keep students up-to-date with everything that’s going on in their school life. Whether it’s viewing their timetable or homework tasks, students can easily access key information outside of school directly from their phone, tablet or PC. Schools can also send alerts to students, for example to remind them to bring their sports kit to school or to show how they are progressing against targets.
Available on iOS, Android or via the web, the apps can be accessed in any way suitable to the users lifestyle, so whether they are on the school bus, on their phone, at work or on their home PC, the information they need is always at their fingertips.
Once Ive been hands on with both, and been able to catch up with the respective Product Managers – you can be assured of a photo rich blog review.