There is a lot of hype in the education sector at the moment about having an “everything in one place” tech platform for schools. All of us use different tech products throughout the day and we don’t think twice. Can you think of one tech product that we use at work or in our personal lives that can deliver everything we need? Us neither. Each day we use search engines, accounting software, streaming services, banking apps, databases, social media, online calendars, cloud-based storage and so much more without thinking twice. We choose the products that are specifically created to meet our needs and are the best suited to get the job done. So is it realistic to expect one platform to meet the diverse needs of schools?
This week on School Stream, we explore the emergence of ‘all-in-one’ tech solutions for schools, and why it’s important to have a Student Information System and a world-class school communication platform, each working together in their own lane of expertise.
School Stream has been laser-focused on school communication for over a decade. Head to our website to see why we are the number one for parents and schools.
Using the right tool for the job
Clear communication between schools and families is vital in ensuring a smooth day. And we all know how a breakdown in communication can easily lead to a flurry of disruptive calls and visitors to the office, placing extra pressure on administrators.
School Communication Apps and Student Information Systems fulfill very different functions, and each needs to be performed by products that are best suited for the job. School communication, like data management, is its own robust, standalone field of expertise. To expect one solution to cover these two completely different tasks is like trying to stream your favourite series from Twitter or order takeaway food from YouTube!
Is a ‘one-stop shop’ for all of school life too good to be true? (Spoiler Alert: Yes)
Families are busy – and you don’t need us to tell you that schools are too. In this context, it’s no surprise that the edtech sector is responding with promises of one platform to rule them all.
It might be tempting to think one tool could be the ‘silver bullet’ for school administrators and parents, but it is important to have a communication solution that is effective, covers all your unique day to day communication needs, and importantly one that your families engage with.
if you have a school communication platform in place that is reaching all families and working well, it’s a huge risk to migrate all the parents to any new system. In other words, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it!
A decade of experience applied to school comms: Priceless.
A school communication app is a tool that allows schools to communicate effectively with their families and community. These highly specialised platforms have been developed especially for schools for this reason and this reason only. As an example, School Stream has been supporting schools to keep their communities in the loop for over a decade. As industry leaders in school communication, we know schools need more than a ‘one size fits some’ solution. We have applied feedback from schools to build a communication platform that is reliable, inclusive and supported.
What does an effective school communication app offer?
If you’re looking at a new school communication app or considering changing from your existing provider, here is a list of things any school comms platform worth its salt should offer:
This is a non-negotiable, must-have. Schools can reach parents in an instant via a notification sent to their phone to let them know things such as when the bus is running late, if the swimming carnival has been postponed and, at the more serious end of the scale when there is a natural disaster. Schools tell us this feature is indispensable.
“It was priceless when we had the bushfires around here. We had to send out an evacuation notice and it was one hour from sending the alert, to everyone being out (of the centre).”
“We’re a small school. We don’t have the time to be texting, calling, emailing, printing off hard copies and all that. We do it once on School Stream.”
The most recent census tells us that there are 5.5 million people in Australia who speak a language other than English at home – around 22.3 per cent of the total population.
“There isn’t a departmental-specified answer to deal with this kind of language barrier for school communication. What you guys do in being able to have this information translated to other languages is such a game changer – and I hope that other schools get on board.”
Newsletter creation and distribution tools.
Every school needs an easy-to-use, flexible content creator so they can whip up the newsletter with ease.
“We now communicate important information, upcoming events, and even our newsletter via School Stream. We have better engagement with our families, less traffic through the office, and it has contributed to transitioning us to a cashless school.”
The basketball team doesn’t need to know band practice has moved to the hall for tomorrow! It’s worth ensuring you can target your comms to the right people.
“… we have a community group for the ladies who do the Breakfast Club – they only get information related to them. If we have a nit problem at school, they don’t need to hear about it. I also have a group for the (prospective) prep parents – we sign them up on the spot as part of enrollment.”
If you’re a School Stream school, you know first-hand how brilliant our Australian-based Customer Success team is.
“The tech support is great, it’s responsive, nothing is too much trouble. You’ve always got a smile on your face when we call. It feels like the (Customer Success) team has a good culture.”
Check in and see who is using the app and engaging with the content – a simple way to make sure you’re reaching everyone.
“The best thing is, School Stream has the ability to inform. I can see who has been using it. I am not into using too many platforms. We do it once on School Stream and that’s it.”
We’re talking about things like digital forms, calendar events and sync, school branding, secure online payments, organised content and information, media files and storage, quick links and important updates, integration, data export for compliance, single sign-on and, above all, a reliable, functional platform that schools and families love to use.
We pride ourselves on offering a world-class communication solution for schools. We’re not the only school communication app in town, but we can say that School Stream is the top-rated school communication app on the App Store and Google Play. Talk to one of our team today and find out why!
Are you ready to School Stream? Let’s get started.