Tell us a little about D6 Technology and how you formed.
In 2009 D6 created a desktop Communicator for St George's Grammar School in South Africa, where one of the directors had a son. The response was overwhelmingly positive and four years later there are now more than a thousand schools around the world using the School Communicator.
For the Middle East operations we at Six-Delta Communications both saw the product individually and contacted D6 Technology in order to bring it to the region. We subsequently formed the partnership which is Six-Delta Communications and began to roll it out to schools around the Middle East.
Can you explain the premise of your School Communicator app to those that don't know how it works?
The School Communicator is a lightweight app for both computer (Windows and Mac) and mobile devices. The computer version pops up on the screen the first time that the computer is switched on every day. So it will be the first thing that parents see EVERY morning. Bringing Mums and Dads vital up to date information. Schools feed all pertinent information into the system (News, Calendar, Homework, Policy documents etc).
Parents install the app and then select the grades and activities for which they wish to receive the information. A parent can therefore restrict their information feed to only that of Grade 2, Grade 4 and, say, u11 Soccer. They no longer have to wade through an overflowing inbox to find school notifications, or print out reminders that pile up on the fridge!
What are the key features of the app that make it a useful tool for educators?
For an educator the benefits are simple. Up to date news and information pertaining to all the schools activities in one easy to access place for the parents. For individual staff members it is an incredible time saving system as they do not have to print out documents for handing out to students and parents and they do not have to maintain unwieldy email mailing lists.
The Communicator is incredibly easy to keep updated (as easy as posting content to Facebook) as opposed to some school VLE software that is out there today.
How does the app adapt for families with children in multiple schools?
A parent can have multiple School Communicators installed on their computers or multiple schools within the mobile app.
How important was it for you to make the application multi-platform?
Incredibly important. We strive for 100% Communication 100% of the time. Therefore we work hard to ensure we cover all major platforms and keep pace with the release of new OS's whether it be for the computer or the mobile device platform.
School Communicator is gaining more supporters internationally, have you been pleased with the response from schools?
Definitely. The overall response from schools has been gratifying and, to a large degree, vindication of our belief in a brilliant product that makes life easier for both staff and parents. In fact we have had some schools decline the Communcator initially but within a few months they have contacted us to implement it for their school.
Do you have any updates planned for the app?
Most certainly. The School Communicator will always be a work in progress as we take suggestions on board to improve functionality and usability. The computer application is now on Version 3 while we are about to release V2 of the iOS app.The hardest part of is ensuring the simplicity of use remains for both the school staff and the parents.
A major update that we are looking forward to is the Arabic version. This will allow us to reach a greater group of parents and assist a larger number of schools within the region in improving their school-parent communication.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us here at iPad Educators and we wish you every success for the future.
Find out more about School Communicator here: www.six-delta.com