When it comes to using technology in schools, only 56% of parents feel that the schools their children attend have adequate technology. This was the finding of a recent survey from the Center for the Digital Future. Now, for most of us who remember our school days, a score of 56 is failing. And a grade of “F” is not good news for schools.
Many schools are getting serious about upgrading technology in their classrooms. And that’s a good thing. But one area that seems to get brushed aside is implementing better tools to communicate with parents regarding their students’ academic progress, meetings, school activities and events. Many schools continue to rely upon paper newsletters or, at best, emails to communicate which, in most cases, means their messages get lost, stuck in spam filters or simply ignored by busy parents.
This can be particularly damaging for private and charter schools competing for new student clientele. They must be able to demonstrate to today’s young, smartphone-toting parents that they can keep pace with their increasing mobility and communicate with them on their terms.
There is certainly not a lack of technology available. Affordable mobile apps, such as SchoolCues, offer all-in-one platforms that let parents carry school information conveniently on their smart phones, allowing them to keep current on schedules and policies and even pushing out alerts and reminders to keep them in the loop. But schools need to start taking technology more seriously.
According to Jeff Cole, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, schools that don’t take advantage of new technology and the latest tools “are missing an opportunity.” And, especially for private schools those “missed opportunities” will increasingly lead to missed revenues.