Curious if your son turned in his homework or how your daughter did on that big test? In many Midlands school districts, there’s an app for that.
Increasingly, school district smartphone and tablet computer applications offer parents new ways to connect to their kids’ academic progress.
Districts that include Omaha, Westside, Papillion-La Vista and Elkhorn see the value in encouraging easier parent access to student information.
Among the apps’ offerings: assignment completion checkups, test scores, daily attendance and how best to contact a student’s teacher.
Many schools and districts already offered this information via websites, but not all families have access to the Internet by computer. Smartphones and tablets are the only access for some.
These apps help reach those families, and they also make routine access more convenient.
Of course, there are concerns about the security and privacy of student information, and districts need to address those directly.
But the upside potential far outweighs the downside. Kids with parents who are invested in their educational achievement tend to stay in school more often and do better in school while there.
As The World-Herald’s Julie Anderson reported, some parents take access to this information too far. But helicopter parents will act that way without electronic help.
Parents this access can help are those with a good kid who, for whatever reason, has lost his way and needs a quick correction. Engaged parents can help keep student-athletes eligible or notice signs that a math whiz is being bullied.
Smartphone notifications about missed assignments aren’t the cure-all for educational achievement. But these tools might help more parents intervene before problems become irreversible.
And that’s a welcome outcome in any school.