It’s one of those questions where we all hesitate and think a little bit harder before answering. Not because there’s a right or wrong answer, but because we have to actually think about the apps we use, how many we actually have and if we even have any at all, let alone use them!
I have to admit at first I thought of course they make my life easier, that’s what they tell me they’re there for. However, the more I think about it the more I now believe I check these apps so many times and I’m replying to so many people that if I still don’t write everything down in one place i.e. the family calendar (we’ve all got one) I’m still going to forget. What’s more if I’m in the middle of something when I receive the notification, the chances of me then remembering it later on can sometimes be very slim!
Most schools now however have a parenting app. All parents are invited to sign up and link in and then from this they can then send school updates and information about what’s going on. Information such as, new clubs starting or changes to times, non-school uniform days, lunch menus, when the next parent’s evenings are being held etc. These apps, in this sense, are great for parents to tap into and know what’s going on and also what options their children have for lunch etc. But in order to remember you must check this app regularly or when you receive a notification still write it down so when the time comes you don’t forget!
“…with more parents now working full time, apps seem the best solution to help get the information out there…”
Of course sending out messages to parents in this form is much easier than supplying children with paper copies of the information, in the hope that they might actually make it back to you in a legible non torn up manner. Or even taken out of their book bags in enough time for you to actually make a set of angel wings, as your daughter has forgot to inform you she got the part in the school Christmas play as the guardian angel!
Plus with more parents now working full time, apps seem the best solution to help get the information out there in the format that the majority of people are now used to.
On the other hand, think about it…You’re crazy busy at work, in and out of meetings. You check your phone, message from the school about the annual bake sale taking place on Friday. If you’re anything like me you think “oh great! Must buy cakes to drop in”. Then go back to work and completely forget about everything until the early hours of Friday morning when you wake up with a start as you still haven’t bought the cakes! Yes I could add it to my calendar and set a reminder for Thursday evening to pick up said cakes, but I’m also right in the middle of an email explaining all that is wrong with a piece of design work!
There’s also the more sophisticated apps too, which allow you to monitor what your child’s having for lunch at school, taking it further than just the full weeks menu of choices. The app can be topped up with money at home and then kids are able to pick what they want for lunch without actually having a penny on them. What’s great about this is as parents you can then log onto the app to see what they’ve had to eat that day. Spying a little, yes. To know that they’ve had multiple bags of crisps and chocolate instead of a wholesome meal, but it does mean they aren’t taking cash to school and it also helps you to prepare meals that you know they haven’t already had that day.
A new app which has recently been released is completely focussed on making parenting easier. Coo, has been developed as a parent productivity app. Similar to a WhatsApp group and mainly targeted at working Mums. Users can create multiple private messaging groups based on your child school class or activities and clubs they’re part of. You also have the opportunity to collaborate with others, so you never have the feeling of being alone and the most exciting part…there is a live calendar, so all of the paperwork is in one place – you’ll never forget another school uniform day (although obviously it can’t promise this 100%).
Coo is new to the market but as the launch continues it is vowing to help parents save more than 48 hours a year in family admin, as well as help parents support each other and get to know one another beyond the school gate.
Personally, I find the final point to be really important. Getting to know other parents! Sometimes you just don’t have time on a morning as you’re too busy ushering them into school and then the school pick up can be even more hectic when they come out with what seems a million things they’ve painted or made for you to carry!
So being able to find out what’s going on, and what’s happening at the next sports day, when the next cake sale is and what everyone else is bringing, helps!
With all apps of course their intention is to make our lives easier, to help us get the information we want, when we want it. To a certain extent that’s what the new parenting apps are achieving. Apps like Coo are just what parent’s need, everything in one place and a calendar to record it all. School parenting apps are also a great idea but we still have to remember to do something with that information. But to be able to tap into it at any time, rather than scrambling through every piece of paper in your house is a life and time saver!
With reports that on average parents have more than 500 things to remember every year, when it comes to school events and information – anything that is seen to make life simpler is a bonus!
Taken from the December issue of Geek Parenting, out now!