SMS service is often thought of as a service reserved primarily for businesses. However, the truth is that SMS is far more diverse than just a method for helping companies increase their brand awareness and increase ROI. In fact, schools and universities are also adopting SMS services as a way to keep parents and the student body up to date with school-related events and news.
SMS makes communication far easier for schools
In this day and age, even most pre-adolescent students own a cell phone, and most schools permit them as long as they aren’t used during class time. With that in mind, schools can quickly send updates via text instead of paper flyers, which usually end up littering the hallways and playgrounds and becomes a mess for the custodian.
The use of SMS in schools is quickly evolving into a global phenomenon and is becoming prevalent even in regions with limited access to modern technology. In rural parts of Vietnam, for example, 40% of children are now using the Internet for academic-related purposes, and 34% also have access to mobile phones and send text messages on a regular basis.
With SMS, schools can easily relay the following messages and alerts to both students and parents:
- The current month’s lunch menu
- Parent conference meetings
- Upcoming student plays
- School closures due to extreme weather conditions
- Upcoming school-sponsored sport games
- Upcoming field trips
- Safety alerts due to local criminal activity on or near school grounds
- Inform students of school assemblies
Private SMS messages
With most SMS services, text messages can also be sent within faculty circles. This can include messages informing teachers of meeting times or to notify the security of potential safety issues. Teachers and counselors can also forward messages to individual classrooms or students if the message is relevant to them.
SMS services for universities
Universities can benefit the same way from SMS services like schools. Of course, since students are adults, messages can be sent directly to them instead of going through the parents. University staff can use text for the following messages:
- Remind students when quiet hours are within the dorms
- Remind students that alcohol is prohibited in dorm rooms and the accompanying penalty
- Premise shutdown due to events like mass student protests
- Changes in library, dining hall facility or career service center hours
- Deadline notifications, such as when study abroad applications are due or the last day students can withdraw from a class
- Inform the student body of the current score of home or away games
- Inform students of events like orientation or club sign-up day
SMS messaging can also be used by individual instructors to keep their students updated on changes to the course syllabus, canceled classes or lecture room relocation. Likewise, it can also be utilized by teacher assistants to help facilitate the flow of discussion sessions. More recently, it has also been used by resident assistants to inform students within their respective housing facilities of updates regarding building policies and the like.
With an SMS service, schools have a quick way of disseminating information that can be received instantly – Tweet this!
SMS could literally save lives
Mass shootings are unfortunately a part of the modern reality. Such tragedies make us realize that you are never 100% safe regardless of where you’re at in any given moment. However, communication via SMS could prove to save lives and mitigate the impact of tragic situations. With text messaging, schools can immediately alert students of an active shooter situation and warn them to stay in their dorms. They can also alert instructors to keep the classroom on lockdown or relay messages given by law enforcement. The sooner the student body is notified of a precarious situation, the quicker students can take action to keep themselves out of harm’s way.
Academic institutions of all places understand the importance of communication between faculty and students and their parents. With an SMS service, schools have a way of quickly disseminating information that can be received almost the minute it is sent.