Parental involvement matters in education, and recent research confirms it. In a field study by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, researchers found that parent-teacher-student communication increases homework completion by 42 percent and decreased teacher redirects by 25 percent.
Parent-teacher communication is clearly key to a student’s success and labs108 can help. This is one of those rare instances where there is a relatively simple answer to a complex problem. It’s not necessary for Mom and Dad to get overwhelmed with school activities or change their lifestyle dramatically. All they need to do is have a better idea about what’s going on with their kids education, even a few times a month. Improving the lines of communication between parents, their kids and their schools can have an enormous and long-lasting impact on the world.
The National Education Association states that, “State and district leaders should encourage schools to use technology in more creative ways,” in a new NEA’s policy brief. The NEA and parent-teacher groups around the country support the rise of mobile as an integral part of EdTech.
Mobile apps put the power of massive supercomputers into the palm of your hand, quite literally. Data centers running software on massively parallel processing servers can deliver innovation over the cloud and put it right on our phones. Instead of wasting all that computing power on games, why aren’t we devoting it to solving real world problems?
That’s exactly what we are doing at labs108. We are committed to improving K-12 education by stretching the potential of the latest technology. We organize our design and development around the principles of “Communication Increases Engagement,” and “Guided use of mobile devices increases Engagement, Focus, and Learning.”
Not only can our K-12 Mobile App, called Skool Commute, improve communication between parents, students, educators and administrators, it can establish a new environment for higher educational achievements. Here are 10 reasons why, listed in order of coolness.
10 Coolest Reasons for Skool Commute
Here’s our top 10 list of reasons why we think our app is the cutting edge of cool.
1. Parent-to-parent communication – Coordinating your kid’s activities with other parents is super important. The next time something unexpected happens, such as a delay on the bus route or a teacher in-service day or discussing curriculum or parenting topics, a quick chat with other parents could save you hours of anxiety and help build a better supportive atmosphere.
2. Location-assisted school pickups – In the news, kids and parents in Delaware schools are just the latest to suffer from buses that never arrived. If this happened in your neighborhood, you would need a way to communicate with everybody involved so that you or a neighbor could swing by to pick up the kids.
3. A personalized app for each school – With all the different ways to communicate, it’s too easy to miss messages between administrators and parents or kids and teachers. A vertical messaging platform, tailored to each school, keeps all critical communications on one open channel.
4. Field trip location tracking – Every kid’s dream and every parent’s nightmare is a field trip full of surprises. Depending on the destination and the level of supervision, there can be too many unknowns. With location aware App, lost or unaccounted-for children never have to be a problem.
5. Monitoring of student-to-student communications – October is National Bullying Prevention Month. We are doing our part to raise awareness of this serious issue. There are too many stories of bullying in-person or over social media and there is no reason for it.
6. Messaging role and privilege control – Who says class is canceled? Parents could be more involved and teachers could be better prepared if everyone was able communicate clearly and directly. Administrators should be able to talk to parents directly instead of sending a message home with the child. All of this depends, however, on system users being able to rely on the secure identity of every online party.
7. Central calendar for volunteer sign-ups – Many, if not most, school events need volunteers, either from students or parents. Too much time and other resources are wasted in creating a sign-up sheet and printed reminders. A central calendar specifies who is doing what when, with no more excuses.
8. Access to advanced technology – By the time the current generation grows up, there may be no more keyboards. Many students have no idea what ancient terms such as “cursive letters” or “DVD” refer to. Communication by mobile app should be considered part of their critical education for surviving in this new world.
9. Grades, attendance and assignment tracking – Parents have enough to keep track of between work, family responsibilities, sports and school events. They can’t be expected to keep detailed records of trends in grades over the years, current homework assignments and which days their kids missed class. There is no reason they should when it is all inside the app.
10. Connecting with your kids in a new way – Chat is way cool. So cool that chat apps are the fastest growing sector of the mobile web and worth over $48 billion so far. Go where your kids are and be cool with them. Learn to appreciate them on their own terms. Maybe their cool list will include “my parents” some day.
Get the App
Our Skool Commute Pilot App is available right now and there is no reason why schools can’t start using Skool Commute to foster educational achievement today. You and your kids may never completely agree about what is cool, but at least you can disagree over online chat while you stay up to date on all their assignments and schedules.