SMS For Schools - The Perfect Friendship

SMS solutions for education

The education system is a dynamic and fast-changing industry because it has to be. As technology evolves, the way students gobble down information evolves accordingly, and things rapidly change from what they used to be.

This was a time where computers were big and grey and chunky and their capabilities were limited in ways we’d now find comical. MS-DOS was the main operating system. And this was only 20 years ago.

What I’m trying to say is that technology changes the way we learn. In an institution dedicated to learning then—like a school or a university—new technologies have the ability to completely transform the landscape in which learning takes place. And with the education system becoming ever-increasingly competitive, and different institutions competing for their share of the student pie, the need for schools, vocational colleges and universities to stay up-to-date with technological progress is vital.

Not all the reason for that has to do with how students learn in the classroom, either; the benefits of new technology make it easier for these institutions to stay connected with their students, with parents of students, and even between staff members themselves.

And SMS is a great way for schools to make the most of a useful technology that can help smooth out the processes of contact in numerous ways.

Harnessing SMS For School

Let’s start with the most obvious benefits involving SMS and its application to the education sector.

As well as being delivered almost instantaneously, SMS is communication method that doesn’t require the newest technology to function. Almost everyone to whom you’ll need to be connected to will have access to a mobile phone—even if it is one that resembles a brick—and therefore be able to read and respond to your SMS.

More than that, however, because SMS is still such a personal, in-the-moment type of service, it continues to boast extraordinary open rates. Ninety-eight percent of SMS are read, and 93% of that 98% are read within mere minutes of receipt.

The average response rate to SMS is also extremely short, coming in at about 90 seconds. When you compare this to email, which usually takes up to about 90 minutes for a response, the advantages of having SMS do the dirty carrier pigeon work for your school’s internal and external communications starts to become apparent.

But it’s all well and good to merely say SMS is a great method of communication that can be applied effortlessly in the education sector for incredible results. The real question is this: How can SMS be used to aid communications in the education industry? And on this issue we have a few ideas to share.

Parent, Teacher, Student Communication is Critical

Between work, the kids’ soccer games, dinner prep, family shindigs, picking up the dry cleaning, getting the animals to the vet, and looking for gluten free cough medicine—it’s safe to say that parents are busy people, living crazy lifestyles, doing a million and three things at once. Thusly, getting in touch with busy and elusive parents can often prove tricky business. And relying on kids to relay messages to their parents is what one might call optimistic.

Nevertheless, there are critical times when parents simply must be reached. And with SMS, reaching them becomes a lot easier, especially in the following circumstances:

Parental concent for study, leave, or sick days

Educators don’t want to spend their time chasing down children’s parents for consent forms; they want to spend their time doing what they do best, which is educating! With a simple SMS, educators can confirm that their students are indeed at home sick with a thermometer dangling out of their mouths, and not being cheeky sneaky.

Attendance Records

Many parents would love if they were able to check up on their kids’ attendance without having to really check up on their kids’ attendance. SMS can make this happen. And effortlessly. More than that, it also takes a load off from educators and admin people because they won’t have to spend time on the phone rummaging through logs to update parents regarding their child’s attendance records. Win-win!

Student Reminders

Students are notorious for being forgetful creatures. SMS is the perfect way to remind them about all those important things they’ve got coming up, like when the first day of class is after a long Christmas break—last minute changes made to their timetable—when that big group project is due—when the exam period is happening—or where they left their locker keys (if only!). Again, this isn’t just great for keeping students organised, it’s also great for ensuring that classrooms flow smoothly and hassle free. It’ll save schools time, money, and resources that could be spent better elsewhere.

Exam Results

Getting updated on exam results is usually an excruciating process for students, parents, and even teachers alike. Throughout my education there were numerous instances where I was trying to get my results online or over the phone, but because of the heavy volume of other impatient students doing the same thing, the system crashed, and we were all left wondering—‘Did I pass?’ SMS can provide a secure way of releasing exam results to any student happy to receive the big news via SMS. It streamlines the process for all involved, and so can consequently save admin people from the headache of disgruntled students calling up about their scores.

Internal Communication

Another big issue is the ability that SMS possesses for a school to communicate internally en masse.

It’s a quick, cost-effective, and easy way for teachers, principals, administrators, and any other relevant parties to be hooked into the loop and made aware of any important information, and fast.

Unlike social media platforms, the only thing everyone needs to stay connected is a mobile phone—there are no apps to be downloaded, no programs to be installed. Your average mobile will do.

Ultimately, SMS can facilitate communications within and without an institution of education. Which is becoming an increasingly competitive industry.

The need to go that extra mile of differentiation and give reason for parents to want to send their children to your institution is becoming more and more important. And similarly, giving reasons for university and college age students to want to actually study with you is becoming more and more important.

SMS is one of those nifty little time-savers that can make all the difference and show potential parents and students that your school is a well-organised institution that welcomes progressive technologies with open arms, and uses them for the good of students.

Would you like to more about the adoption of SMS for your school? Click here to find out more.