DELAVAN — The Delavan-Darien School District. Yes, there’s now an app for that.
On Tuesday, March 6, the Delavan-Darien School District launched a new mobile application aimed at putting a variety of district-related information into the pockets, purses, backpacks and briefcases of the Delavan-Darien community.
“We’re always looking for new, innovative ways to keep our students, parents, faculty, staff and alumni informed about the many great things that go on here in the district,” said Mike Heine, coordinator of school/community relations.
The mobile application is currently compatible with web-connected iPad, iPhone and iPod touch devices, and is available online through Apple’s App Store (search “DDSchools” in the store or visit http://bit.ly/ddsdapp). An application for Android-based products is also in development and should be available in the spring, Heine said.
“Between the two platforms there are more than 1 million available mobile and tablet applications,” Heine said. “Apple expects to sell tens of millions of iPads this year alone, adding to the more than 50 million iPad tablets already in use. There are more and more Apple iPhones and various brands of Android-based phones and tablet devices being sold every day. As their prices continue to fall, their numbers will grow. We wanted to have our district logo and our district information be a part of that growth. It made sense to enter the fray.”
The free application, which updates automatically, largely relies on pulling information from existing district websites, social media sites, calendars and documents. For the app to work correctly, a working Internet connection is required, Heine said.
With the app, users can connect with and learn about the district in a variety of ways, including: calling or emailing from the app; visiting the district’s social media pages; finding specific information about Delavan-Darien schools, such as grade-level curriculum and extracurricular offerings; reading up-to-date district news, daily announcements and monthly newsletters; checking out the building calendars; finding out what’s on the breakfast and lunch menus; logging into student email accounts, PowerSchool accounts (the district’s online student database and grade system), and lunch money accounts; sending the district photos from school events, and more.
“With the app, we were looking to inform, not impress with graphics and gadgets,” Heine said. “It’s clean, functional, easy to use and will bring a wealth of information to a variety of users with just a few screen taps.
“It’s also somewhat unique for our area. Searching ‘public schools’ on the app store yields less than 100 results, and I’m not aware of any area school district with a mobile app, so we’re perhaps a little bit out front of our neighboring school districts in that regard.”
The app was created for free using the online vendor Buzztouch.com. It will cost about $100 a year to publish in Apple’s App Store and about $25 annually to bring it to the Android Market.
The app is free of advertising and the district does not collect or store users’ personal information.