Developing Your Own School Communication App Like Remind in 2021

Developing Your Own School Communication App Like Remind in 2021

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While digital transformation has happened across many industries, education especially primary education has remained largely similar. Digital transformation has fundamentally changed many industries, but not education.

Many digital entrepreneurs are realizing the need of utilizing digital technologies for the field of education. There are many opportunities and challenges of utilizing digital technologies for education.

Recently, Remind previously Remind 101 has been gaining traction amongst the public schools of the US and parents. Almost 50% of public schools are using Remind as their go-to school communication app. What started as a dedicated messaging app for students has expanded into becoming a complete school communication & teaching app solution.

Introduction to School Communication App Development

With School communication apps, parents, teachers, and students can stay updated on all that is happening in the school at an individual level and collective level. For example,. With the activity feature in the Remind app, teachers can collect money from parents for activities such as school trips and sports events. Earlier, parents had to hand out cash to their children which meant that the children had to carry cash to school and deliver it to teachers but with this feature, teachers can collect as per the activity without cash transactions and its risks. A public school has an average of 12 activities per academic year. The activities feature can be used for free activities as well.

Parents don’t have to remember important days or children forgetting their homework or weekly schedule. By using a school communication app development solution, parents can stay connected with their children and the stakeholders at school such as teachers & administrators. By utilizing a school communication app, the schools can in turn provide a more complete educational environment to their students by involving all concerned parties and reducing communication gaps amongst all the stakeholders.

To launch a successful school messaging app, you need to take the following steps:

  • Choose major features
  • Figure out the tech stack
  • Create A Development Plan
  • Hire the Best Developers

Let’s discuss each of these points in detail.

Major Features for School Communication App Development

Announcements & Updates:

With this feature, teachers can send major announcements and updates to all parents and students with the app. For example, updates about school closure due to adverse weather, upcoming trips, and announcements of results. Updates and messages can be sent on email and SMS as well.

News & General Feed:

This section of the app will function similarly to a bulletin board for the school. It can also function as a social feed of pictures and videos of the school activities and student achievements.

Send Assignments & Homework:

Teachers can send assignments and updates directly to students and parents so that both students and parents are aware about the assignments and homework. In case of school projects where both the parent and the student need to be involved the assignment section of the app can be helpful in creating a line of communication between parents and teachers.

Groups for Class and Students:

Separate messaging groups categorized for classes and students can be created to keep up to date with what’s happening in a class. This feature can be handy for parents to know what is happening in their child’s classroom and to tutor them in any subjects at home. Students who are unable to attend classes due to medical issues or for any other reason can also keep themselves updated with the classroom and the current status of the courses being taught.

Sharing Useful Resources:

Teachers cans share useful resources such as tutorials, extra study material with their parents through the app.

Reminders & Scheduler for Meetings:

Teachers and parents can create and send a reminder for meetings and schedule them. Push notifications can provide a timely reminder to both parties.

(Sample app interface for School Communication app)

 

Virtual Meetings:

In case it’s needed, both the parents and the teachers can create a virtual meeting room to conduct PTA meetings, progress and concern addressing meetings, and general progress meetings about the students.

Q&A:

Parents and teachers can raise a question and get it answered by the right people.

Growth Tracker:

In the growth tracker section, teachers can keep updating a child’s progress so that the parents can be aware of the progress their child is making through reports and visual representation through charts and graphs. In case there are issues that need to be corrected, both the teachers and parents can come together to solve the issues hindering a child’s academic progress.

Share Report Card:

Periodic report cards can be shared by the teachers in the report cards section. Both the teachers and parents can access previous report cards to compare the progress.

Share Pictures & Videos:

Teachers and school officials can share pictures and videos of the school events, field trips, and all the latest happenings worth sharing with pictures and videos.

Bus Tracking:

Parents can track the bus which is taking their children from home to school and vice versa. Real-time updates through GPS tracking and push notifications when a child reaches school and home can be provided.

Virtual Classrooms:

Teachers can conduct virtual classrooms in adverse weather, pandemic, or other unforeseen events.

Online Payment for Fees:

Parents can pay the school fees online with a secure payment gateway integrated into the app.

Fund Raising for Events:

Teachers can create a fundraiser to generate money for upcoming field trips, events, and other purposes. They can also send out notifications for events that are both paid or unpaid.

Personalized Virtual Teaching:

Teachers and students can raise a notification regarding the need for personalized coaching.

Figuring out A Tech Stack

Here is a proposed stack for school communication app development. You can also add and remove technologies as per your expert consultation.

Coding Languages

  • Java

  • Swift

  • Xamarin

  • React Native

  • Flutter

Framework

  • Node.js

  • Express.js

Database

  • SQL

  • MongoDB

  • ASP.Net

Web Servers

  • Nginx

Cloud

  • Amazon S3

  • Microsoft Azure

  • Google Cloud

Other

  • Google Maps

  • Bing Places

  • Apple Maps

  • Google Analytics

Payment Gateway

  • Stripe

  • PayPal

 

Create A Development Plan

You need to discuss with your app consultant to design a proper and sequential development plan for your school messaging app. You need to define the use cases and intended userbase. What will be the key differentiator for the app? How will it solve the issues of the users? What unique features does it offer to the market? Such questions will need to be discussed with your app consultant before proceeding ahead.

Ideally, you should have decided on the development team beforehand with the possibility of augmenting them later if needed. Sit down with your development team and develop a technical feasibility plan for your major and minor features, your app architecture, expected performance and bottlenecks, and start figuring out the next steps.

Develop rough sketches of the app and its architecture using whiteboards and sketches. After that, a UI/UX designer will use those sketches and whiteboard inputs to design a UI/UX as per your business plan and technical requirements. Once the UI/UX is done you can move on to coding and implementing the app as per an AGILE methodology.

Hire the Best Developers

To hire the best developers, go with your experience and instincts and use methods such as pre-screenings, in-depth interviews, and resume filtering along with a technical round to select the best possible team. Be prepared to spend much time upfront to avoid changing teams mid-way and re-hiring for many technical positions.

Conclusion

The education field is ripe for many technical changes. A messaging app is just the start but if it can be done right then it has a lot of potential of being a successful startup. Do drop us a line if you want to develop a school messaging app or any app idea you might have on your mind.

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Posted on September 14, 2021 by Krish Nair
Krish Nair
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