Does Your School Have an App?

In today’s world, mobile and tablet use is rapidly growing and becoming more integrated into our everyday lives.  With over 6 billion mobile phones worldwide, 195 million tablets sold in 2013, and “nomophobia”- the fear of being without a mobile device- being a common occurrence in today’s culture, this growth is no surprise.

So what does this mean for today’s schools and educational communities?  Let’s break it down:

- 67% of college students’ smartphones and tablets are being used for academic purposes (a rate that has nearly doubled in one year)

- Mobile applications and tablet computing will have a time-to-adoption of one year or less in higher education (New Media Consortium 2013 Horizon Report)

- 51% of households with 3-15 year olds have a tablet computer

- 42% of children aged 5-15 are using a tablet at home

- According to a 2013 Survey done by Grunwald Associates:

- More than half of K-12 parents surveyed believe schools should make greater use of mobile devices

- 45% of parents said they had already purchased or will purchase a mobile device to support their children’s education

As we see the value of mobile and tablet devices becoming a more powerful communication tool in our culture, schools have an amazing opportunity to use these platforms to create stronger relationships and engagement within their communities.

In the 2013 CIO Review Education Technology special, John Hermes, Vice President of Information Technology at Oklahoma Christian University comments, “I think the most important thing we are trying to do is maintain a conduit of communication with our constituents. Having a mobile app presence has become just as important to us as having a website- and, you could argue, maybe even more important.”

Here at Subsplash, we are here to help.

With the Subsplash Platform, schools are able to strengthen their communication lines with their community through beautiful customized apps. From elementary schools to universities, our Platform offers a way to keep all members of the academic community in the loop.  With features that allow schools to share news, promote events, send push notifications and alerts, and stream audio and video content, schools are able to connect with students, parents, alumni, and prospective students in their context, on their time.

After speaking with Sam Totman, Director of External Relations at Anderson University College of Christian Studies, it was great to hear how the Subsplash Platform has been strengthening connections between the school and current students, as well as the school and prospective students. When asked what he saw as the most valuable purpose of having an app at Anderson University, Sam responded, “In today’s age, it’s so great to have an app as a resource that is relevant to the current generation.”

“Students love using the ‘Programs’ and ‘Courses’ tabs.  The ability to see all of the available courses and descriptions in one place makes the registration process a lot easier for them,” he commented. “Students also like the ability to connect with staff via the app.  The Staff Directory tab helps them easily find their contact information and creates a more open line of communication.”

Sam also commented on how having an app acts as a great marketing tool when attending conferences to attract prospective students.  “It makes us look so much better to potential students when we are able to present an app and encourage them to download it as a tool to learn more about the University.”

In addition to the ability to access staff directories and course options, schools also have the opportunity to engage students through features like a school calendar of events, event sign-up, sports news and scheduling information, blog tabs, campus maps and locations, bulletins, library hours and contact information, streaming video and audio lectures, as well as enabling students to share information through social media, email, and text messages.

Benefits of having an app for your school far surpass the student community.  The Subsplash Platform allows schools at the elementary, middle, and high school levels to strengthen their connections and relationships with parents as well. With push notifications and news updates, schools are able to send alerts, weather conditions, safety notifications, event reminders, volunteer opportunities, and much more to keep parents informed.  By allowing for pertinent information to be all in one place, schools have the potential to foster strong and trusting relationships between themselves and parents for a more engaged and aware academic community.

While our apps can host various information and resources, the Subsplash Platform allows for an organized, smooth navigation for users, allowing a convenient experience for staff, students, prospective students, parents, and alumni to engage and stay connected. Has your school explored the value that a mobile app can bring? We’d love to connect.