Alerts.com has announced at DEMOfall 08 a free messaging and notification system called MySchoolAlerts that will allow schools to communicate instantly with teachers, parents and students.
This is a perfect solution for sharing information such as school closings due to inclement weather or enabling communication in the event of a campus security threat. Yes, every school has a phone number that parents and staff members can call to find out whether or not their school is open, but most of the time that information can be incorrect or the phone line busy or down. Enabling schools to send current news and alerts instantly to everyone connected to the school will be far more effective and truly appreciated by everyone.
How it works
MySchoolAlerts is free and there’s nothing to download or install for the school or parents. The school simply creates an account and the faculty members, parents and students just subscribe to the service. Everyone has the option to receive the messages any way they prefer because they can be delivered via e-mail, SMS, voice, widget or through a desktop application. Other types of alerts can be added as well, such as child safety alerts, severe weather warnings, gas price alerts and more.
Every second counts
Obviously, this messaging service will become invaluable in the event of campus security threats such as the tragic events that unfolded at schools like Columbine and more recently Virginia Tech. The horrific events were only intensified because school staff members and authorities had no way of communicating with parents or students in a timely manner. In situations like that, every second counts.
Schools are trying to remedy this problem by taking expensive and drastic measures such as providing laptops, cell phones and even iPhones to all students so they can communicate with them instantly. Some schools that have done this are Oklahoma Christian University and Abilene Christain University.
As a parent, I think this is a long overdue solution. I think every school needs to sign up and start communicating with teachers, parents and students in real time. The fact that it’s free and does not require any hardware or software should make this a no-brainer. This kind of solution can also work for other organizations that need to communicate with large numbers of people in a timely manner. Quite frankly, I will be very surprised if this service isn’t embraced immediately across the country by all schools.
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