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Text message integration delivers effective communication with parents in schools

EdSmart was founded in 2014 by entrepreneurial parents Fiona Boyd and David Eedle in response to the large quantities of paperwork parents have to deal with when their kids are in school.

Today, EdSmart’s School Organisation System (SOS) automates data capture, simplifies communication, and modernizes processes for educators, parents, and students. Approximately one million users across nine countries access EdSmart’s workflow solutions.

Barriers to communication between parents and teachers

  • Parents not receiving the correct information at the right time.
  • Difficulty for parents in determining which communication is the most time-sensitive or urgent.
  • Navigation through the vast quantities of forms and paperwork required by schools.

RELATED: Hear (direct from parents) why the education sector should use SMS communications

How to communicate effective with parents using SMS

  • An online forms platform with workflows and notifications to facilitate the all-important flow of communication between parents and schools.
  • A multi-channel strategy to reach parents using SMS, emails, and app notifications.
  • SMS for the most urgent communications or where an immediate response is required, for example, to notify parents that an excursion is returning late, a permission notice is outstanding, or that a child is not at school.
 

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If it’s urgent, send it via SMS. It doesn’t have to be an emergency, but if it’s time-sensitive, an SMS is best. SMS is personal, immediate, and prompts action. This communication path with parents is incredibly important.

David Eedle, Co-founder and CTO, EdSmart

Benefits of effective communication in schools

  • High-level security: This is absolutely critical as EdSmart’s SOS contains medical information about individuals, which cannot be inadvertently released.
  • Rapid response rates: Using a combination of SMS, email, and EdSmart’s workflows has produced response rates from parents of 65 percent within 24 hours, with some schools reaching an 88 percent response rate within 24 hours.

RELATED: Learn how a higher education provider is using text messaging to improve student experience overall.

  • Strong API for easy integration:I was the one who had to set up messaging, and when I saw it was a super-simple API, I knew I could do it pretty quickly,” says Eedle.
  • Reliable SMS gateway:Our users always have our software window open on their desktop – it’s not something they log into only once or twice a week. If it doesn’t work for approximately 15 seconds, the phone rings, and support tickets start coming in. We also have contractual obligations with our customers regarding the time taken to recover. MessageMedia has a reliable gateway with redundancy we can rely on.
  • Deliverability: SMS gives EdSmart the confidence that messages have been reliably delivered.
  • Peace of mind: Assurance that an SMS has reached and been acted upon by the right person, particularly with the use of one-time tokens. In comparison, a note in the school page is not as reliable in being acted upon by the right person.
 

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