I was recently reminded how useful smartphones actually are when my family and I became stranded on the corner of Marylebone Road with Gloucester Place after our car broke down. Not a very good start to our short holiday break in London.
From live maps detailing the position of the roadside assistance van relative to mine to apps helping us to make sense of the London bus and underground network. From apps which helped us find and book train tickets for the car-less return trip to the brilliant Google Maps app.
These apps have always been useful. But you really become aware of just how incredibly useful they are when you’re broken down in a strange city with a one- and a five-year-old.
Upon our safe return – apart from the initial disaster, we did manage to have a nice holiday – I could not help but think what a trick we are missing in schools by not making the most of the power contained within the little machine most of us, our pupils and their parents carry in our pockets.
And I’m not talking about how (smart)phones can be used to enhance lessons at classroom level. That’s another story. I’m talking about management level.
Wouldn’t it be just fantastic if schools/government/VLE or MIS suppliers/whoever-you-think-should developed their own mobile apps that would act as a gateway to school life and information? Most internet access takes place though mobile devices these days, yet VLEs are seldom mobile friendly (Flash anyone?).
I, for one, would love to see the implementation of a mobile app automatically linking to the school’s VLE or MIS, serving relevant information to pupils, teachers and parents such as timetables, notices, reports, rewards and sanctions, events, sport fixtures, pupil accomplishments… whatever. And yes, of course, the school’s RSS feed.
Why is this not happening already? (or is it?)
Are we missing a trick?
Photo by PanARMENIAN_Photo