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School notification systems

June 15, 2016

We are a school.  Actually, a BOCES – who supports schools.  One of the many things we do is provide insights into software.  Consider solutions, contrast benefits, tradoffs. etc.

A notification system is a big deal to us at BOCES.  We have lots of communication that we have to do.  Our web site software has a native notification module as part of its core.  But, it does not do the things that are requested of it.  This is not an uncommon scenario.  Software doing some of what you would like, but not everything you would like, or at least not as well as you would like.  Maybe the issue is with how it communicates.  Want a message across the front of your website?  Want a push notification to your phone?  Want a notification send to the local media outlets?  How about a Facebook post or a tweet?  How about to an email list?  How about someone calling your phone?

Part of the recent conversation about our website upgrade was around this.  Does SchoolWires by Blackboard have a notification module?  Does it do this or that?  How about FinalSite?  How does their software solution handle notifications?  What if you want to notify parents or the community?  Or even the students that their lunch money account is low?  Lots of needs, lots of scenarios.

Some of our districts use SchoolMessenger.  This is from their website

“When it comes to school notification systems, reliability, ease of use, and security are the most important considerations. That’s why leading districts from coast to coast rely on the SchoolMessenger Communicate service for notification. Discover what sets our system apart today.”

I think the website solution we are upgrading to has a pretty good Notification feature.  It does not come with the core application, but rather is available as an additional module.  This makes sense too, as software gets bigger, trying to do more things, it starts to get a little bloated from a space and memory requirement.  Not everything should be included in the software, so things should be available as plugins or additions.

We shall see.  School Messenger, Blackboard notifications, or some other 3rd party vendor will offer their respective solution.

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