When considering which app system for communication and data collection to use, schools and nurseries need to consider how easy to use the associated apps and software are. However stable and relevant the platform is, if the user’s point of contact with it is cumbersome and unwelcoming, it won’t be used properly. From a teacher’s point of view, data collection is both essential and yet hugely problematic. With the many random variables in a class that are the children, collecting and recording data is a distraction from the supervision and education that is the real purpose of a teacher’s role. If an app makes this collection difficult, teachers will begin to fill it in when they can give it more of their concentration. This is likely to be at a later time when a teacher’s memory of events has faded.
By keeping things simple and clear, this app makes the recording of relevant information easy. Setting up a class is hassle-free. Entering names and attaching a photo to the entry can all be done from within the app. Once set up, it is very straightforward to open the app, locate the relevant child and update the necessary record. The photos of children and relevant icons give teachers the visual cues that will help them to avoid errors in their recording. A simple tap illuminates the correct record or increases/decreases the appropriate number. The clear layout allows a whole class to be updated in just a few seconds.
It is important that this information is accurate because it will help parents form an overview of how their children are doing at the nursery. Are they eating? Are they happy? Are they using the toilet? With accurately recorded information provided to them, parents will be able to notice any issues with their child that staff, with their far more numerous children to monitor, may miss.
The app isn’t just there for the more mundane information either. It links with the device’s camera so that staff can take photographs of children and let parents see and preserve moments from their child’s school day. Messages about special events and occasions can be sent directly by the teacher to parents, ensuring that no child is disappointed because a message did not reach her parents.
This doesn’t just help parents. Schools can make good use of the data and the photographs to support their evidence when they are inspected. Social services may also be able to gain insights into a child’s life from it, allowing schools to discharge their child protection responsibilities more effectively.
This app is a module built around the iCare platform. This platform is accessible through web-based tools as well the apps. It is through these apps, however, that most users will engage with it . With its clear design and useful functionality, it is likely to be welcomed by its users.