25 January 2016
Back to school with SMS communications
While schools around the world are sometimes wary of students’ access to mobile phones at school, teachers and educational faculties have much to gain from using SMS to streamline communication with students and their parents.
SMS messaging offers huge potential in communicating with teachers, parent and school administrators, fast and efficient information from enrolments and exam results to notifications of events or open days
From the very beginning of the process, SMS can be instrumental in bringing students through your hallowed halls, particularly at the tertiary level. Delivering information directly into potential students’ pockets can make enrolment processes clearer and more convenient for everyone.
SMS for enrolment can include:
- Alerts to students about upcoming open days
- Delivering and accepting enrolment offers
- Collating academic information
A busy university life with classes, work and a healthy social calendar can be an organisational nightmare. SMS can keep your students in the loop and on track to get the most out of their education.
Use SMS messages to:
- Send reminders for classes and lectures
- Deliver information about new courses or course changes
- Alert students to internships and job fairs
- Send real-time emergency alerts
SMS isn’t just a one-way street. It can be an efficient way of polling students about their experience. By asking for feedback, you can uncover a wealth of information about your student body that helps provide a richer learning environment.
SMS questionnaires can include:
- Y/N and T/F questions
- Keyword answers
- Multiple choice questions
The most nerve-wracking part of schooling is receiving exam results and it’s often an ordeal, with overloaded online servers at peak times. How much better would it be to send exam and course results directly to each student via SMS? No more students logging in and anxiously refreshing web pages.
SMS for education isn’t just for universities and young adults. For facilities teaching younger children, SMS can be a convenient way of delivering information directly to parents. With a much higher open rate than email, SMS communications generate better response rates, even from busy working parents.
Notifying parents of non-arrival of students can have a profound effect on truancy rates. Lynton Oaten, Principal of Hawthorn Secondary College, reports that “since we introduced SMS notifications to alert parents and guardians of unexplained absence from class, we have reported a reduction in truancy of more than 50 percent”.
SMS for parents can include:
- Following up students who haven’t arrived at school
- School news and information
- Event or holiday reminders
- Emergency alerts and updates
- Confirmation of parent/teacher interviews times
SMS connects students and staff in new ways
Email sometimes gets overlooked and letters can get lost. But almost everyone – students, teachers, lecturers and parents – has a mobile phone close at hand. More and more schools and universities are making the most of this vital communication tool using SMS.
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