Technology to Help Keep School Kids Safe
For parents, knowing your child is in a safe school environment is a very high priority when choosing a school. For school administrators, providing that reassurance is equally important, not just for the welfare of students and staff, but also to protect and maintain the school’s reputation.
While dangerous situations or incidents are not very common and it’s something most of us would prefer not to think about, schools and parents do need to be prepared. Threats to safety can come in many forms:
- Weather-related (e.g. storms, heatwaves, flooding)
- Infrastructure failure (e.g. power cuts, public transport closures)
- Cyber-attacks (hacking of school computers systems or student laptops/smartphones)
- Criminal behaviour (gang violence, burglary, arson, shootings)
This year has seen an increase in lockdown drills and emergency training among schools, to prepare for situations like extreme weather events or intruders on the school grounds.
Technology can play an important role in reducing the negative consequences of safety threats.
In Australia, The Yes Project is a new initiative to encourage young people to “act as positive leaders and supportive friends in all their social spaces, especially online.”
Another excellent resource for Australians is kidshelpline.com.au, providing WebChat support for kids and young adults. They even offer video conferencing options for schools, allowing their trained counsellors to communicate directly in the classroom.
In Australia, the State Emergency Service uses social media to deliver warnings to the general population. Both Australia & New Zealand have a nationwide text alert system and Red Cross NZ also provide a dedicated hazards app.
School-based Hazard Notification
One of the most effective means to improve safety levels is through a school messaging app. The school communication app Skool Loop allows schools to broadcast instant alert messages to all parents—simultaneously. Many of us carry smartphones for work, and for privacy reasons, we don't access our personal email accounts on the company's device. This means essential notifications sent by email may not reach us as quickly as they should. Text messages can often be overlooked in the daily deluge of notifications. An instant message delivered through a dedicated school mobile app can provide a more distinctive alert that will capture the parent's attention.
The Skool Loop app is secure and private, so schools and parents can communicate without the need to share contact information. Because the app doesn’t store personal information, it is less prone to security breaches through hacking.
Of course, these forms of notification needn't just be for the most serious situations—its equally useful for more common occurrences such as event cancellations, last-minute schedule changes or even friendly reminders about upcoming events.
Prepare your school for the future with Skool Loop—a free school app that answers the communication needs of today’s communities and can play a vital role in your school’s health & safety procedures.
Click here for a free information pack for schools about Skool Loop.