What is our application is and what it does.

The school app is available for kindergarten through the twelfth grade students. It helps students keep track of their grades and homework. Many teachers report that it helps parents and students stay connected.

The app has five parts. The following paragraph describes the organization of our app.

Students:

It is a convenient way for students to view homework, grades, and other information on a mobile device. They do not need a desktop or laptop computer to obtain help. All users will need an account to log into the app. Then they can see any classes they choose and the classes that are required. For each class they can see the homework, the grades, and discussion related to homework, quizzes, and tests. Students may also view news and information about their school. This app also provides a communication path to teachers when they have questions or they need help. It is convenient because it is available anywhere and anytime. This includes the times when they are traveling

Teachers

Teachers can use their phones or their tablets to record grades instead of a paper grade book. This would be a great help for field trips and presentations. Teachers can use this app to keep parents informed quickly and easily. It would be great for emergency such as severe weather, violent attacks (bombings, shootings), building problems (pipes breaking, heating or air conditioning failures, electricity outages), fires, and medical emergencies (swine flu, smallpox). Teachers can use this app to keeping up with school events and post assignments. They can even add help videos for student homework assignments. The app can be used to record parts of the assignment and then upload it for access by students. Related articles can be posted to help students with assignments. Teachers can also keep in contact with the administration and other parts of the faculty.

Parents

Parents are provided information about their children’s grades, events, assignments, and behavior. They can even keep track of multiple kids from different schools as long as they in the same district. Mothers with two or more children can find this really helpful. They get all the emergency alerts in case they need to pick up their children early from school which will show up as a push notification. They may send messages to their children’s teacher about various situations. You can also use this app to deposit money in your child’s lunch account or provide money for field trips or school fees.

 

Administration

Administrative staff would have a new way to do their job. They can log onto the mobile application and publish news for the whole school. If there is an emergency, they can push the emergency information to the students, teachers, other administration officials, and parents. They can use the app to notify students of rewards or inform parents of student misbehavior. School administrators are also the administrators of the app. They have the power to monitor all app users and the apps that are used. They are the administrators of the entire database.

 

Why it provides business value to you, your company, or your industry

Children and mobile devices in general

“10% of children under 1 use mobile technology, 39% of kids age 2-4, and by age 5-8, 54% of kids are using mobile technology. The majority of parents now agree that technology can be used for educational purposes, and they’re no longer as opposed to its use as they once were! While 46% of apps that are used by kids 12 and under, a whopping 42% of apps used are for learning math skills! Over 1/2 of children under 12 who use iPads use them for educational purposes” (Lepi) It might be the best way to educate kids. Many school have gone to tablets instead of textbooks. Seven out of ten kids own or use either a tablet or mobile phones. (Lepi)

Marketing the Application

There are many ways to market the application. It can be leased to school districts and private schools on a month to month basis or purchased with charges for customer support. The parents can buy it for small price. (As low as ninety-nine cents.) Many parents could and would pay for it, especially in a private school setting. Schools could pay a small amount. That cost could often be covered by donations. Applications can include advertising from local businesses. A fixed percentage of school donations can be designated for application development. These are several of the options out there, but I think the best one is having the school buy it. Once you build the original application; it can be used as a template for other schools. My research leads me to believe that the parents or the school should pay for the application. (Nilsen)

Paid applications make more money than ad based applications. Paid applications could be funded by the school or the parents and the number of application features could also be a variable. Begin a dialog with parents to explore funding options. Parents can pay it through taxes or fundraisers or just make it part of the school technology fees. (Nilsen)

BOYD

Schools have a choice to make. Should they issue tablets to students or tell parents they are responsible for providing their children with a device. Schools need to choose a solution for this problem. (Roland) “Our application is currently working on an Android system only in hopes of eventually moving it to an Apple operating system. The big question is: will this application survive in the marketplace.

 

Schools do not want to be involved in fundraising for a project unless the funds are given to them by Google, Apple, Microsoft, IBM or Samsung or another similar company. Many free applications have the most the complaints but even the paid versions like Blackboard are taking a hit. I think the people are frustrated enough to buy the application. Suppose you spend a dollar for ink pens. Can you spend the same amount for an application for school? Many students today use a computer for papers and projects. They are several companies that are making similar devices but there many complaints.

Completions and ratings

Schoology Mobile application Reviewers said the application has problems with zooming and with videos. Many complained about not being able to log on. I think that has more to do with school databases. They did not have many reviews but that is common with many of these applications. Blackboard mobile devices are widely reviewed. Blackboard does grades, lists assignments, and provides push notification. They sometimes require students and parents to buy depending on which package the school selects. Teachers reported the most complaints. They complain that the only thing they can do is to update announcements. Students found that it was pretty much the same as using the website on their phone. Many complained about it not saving information like usernames and passwords and on a small device I agree that is annoying. They had many complaints about it being buggy and had to buy it. It received 2.5 stars on Google Play and a million downloads with 11,686 reviews. (Google Play). Apple gave it only two stars with the same complaints. (Apple)

Crescerance will custom design a mobile application and mobile websites. (Crescerance )They have thirty-one apple applications; all are custom mobile applications. Edmodo on the Google play has the 4.1 star rating with 3,229 reviews and a million downloads. I was surprised it had so many stars considering the numerous comments about how many bugs it has. Apple people only gave it 3 stars; biggest complaint was no support for the Iphone5. The rest were it is buggy or limited features something about it appearance dislikes. (Apple) “Engrade Apple does not have the mobile application at all but Google Play does. On Google play it has over 50,000 downloads 383 reviews with a 4 star average review.

Powerschool’s biggest complaints are: doesn’t work or it is really buggy. Many just want it to work. For those who do say it does work; do they love the mobile application? It gets 3 stars at the apple store with 1,482 downloads for students. (Apple) Parent version has 2.5 stars and only 7 ratings with same message, won’t connect to server. (Apple) Teacher version had the most reviews with 215 and the same score as parent version. Biggest problem was it was buggy and it would crash a lot other then that limited features was the other big complaint. (Apple)

Moodle is free has customization but most people don’t want to fool with the mobile device. Moodle had 5,000 downloads with 37 rating with a 2.1 star rating. (Google Play) Apple gives the same amount of stars complaining about the same thing about it not working (Apple) MyBigCampus is a product of Lightspeed school information data they have mobile application. They have over 10,000 downloads and 2.7 stars on Google play. (Google Play)Apple store gives it 2 stars on average many like the idea of the mobile application but feel like it buggy and crashes. (Apple)Both feel like the application is a failure. Cloud 9 Learning has 50 downloads on Google play. Apple has no reviews but some downloads.

 

Future for the application

The application could be expanded to include coaches, club leaders, nurses, counselors, and even college recruiters. Coaches and club leaders can have their own way of adding to a general calendar and keeping records. Counselors can keep track of their schedules and inform parties of important events and schedules. College recruiters can have limited access to obtain information about student skills.

Coaches and club leaders can add schedules; keep attendance, and select newsfeeds and records to be stored for college recruiters. They can keep parents and students informed of events and provide reminders about permission slips for trips that need to be submitted. They have mobile applications to keep track of a high school foot ball team and keep track of play by play. It even helps students to design their own mobile portfolio. They can store student recorded plays and bios on students as players or members.

Nurses can keep track of student medication, notes on treatments; and mom and dad can still be informed. They need to follow the HIPPA laws. They can even notify them if they need to pick them up and notify the front desk when they are checked out. And if an appeal needs to be filed for missing too many days of school they can have the medical notes right in the hands of the parents.

College recruiters can find out if they want a student for athletic, music skills, art, drama and / or some other special skills on the mobile application.

 

Conclusion

I think we will be able to sell our application if we do serious research on what the teachers, parents and students want. I believe most companies are not in touch with their users’ needs. They need to focus on their prototyping and research. I believe this approach will make our product stand out from all the rest.

Bibliography

Andrade, David. 5 Great course management resources for educators. 20 January 2012. 5 May 2013 <http://educationaltechnologyguy.blogspot.com/2012/01/5-great-course-management-resources-for.html>.

5 Great course management resources for educators. 21 January 2012. 5 May 2013.

Schoology – manage lessons, engage students, share content, and connect with other educators. 19 January 2012. 5 May 2013 <http://educationaltechnologyguy.blogspot.com/2012/01/5-great-course-management-resources-for.html>.

Apple. Applications. 2 April 2010. 6 May 2013 <Apple Store>.

Cloud 9 Learning. Home. 21 January 2012. 6 May 2013 <http://www.cloud9learning.com/>.

Crescerance . Products. 3 June 2011. 6 May 2012 <www.crescerance.com>.

Curveu. About Us. 3 March 2013. 6 May 2013 <http://curveu.com/>.

Google Play. Application review. 3 January 2013. 6 May 2013 <GooglePlay >.

Lepi, Katie. What Students And Parents Think About Mobile Technology. 21 February 2013. 6 May 2013 <http://edudemic.com/2013/02/students-and-parents/>.

Lightspeed Systems. Rockets Overview. 10 June 2010. 6 May 2013 <http://www.lightspeedsystems.com/products/rocket/>.

Nilsen, Frode. Income from paid vs ad-based app. 11 July 2011. 03 May 2013 <http://www.nilzorblog.com/2011/07/income-from-paid-vs-ad-based-app.html>.

Roland, Jennifer. In Some Cash-Strapped Schools, Kids Bring Their Own Tech Devices. 3 February 2012. 6 May 2013 <http://blogs.kqed.org/>.