Andover’s technology department has recently upgraded the town’s means of communication with the development and release of an app as well as an update to the previously outdated website www.aps1.net.
Superintendent Shelley Berman sent an email to all Andover parents on November 28th explaining the launch of the new Blackboard Mobile Communication app for Andover. The app debuted on December 12th and is available on the Apple App Store and the Google App Store under the name of “Andover School District.”
The app is game changing for Andover in the sense of getting “notified of breaking news and updates about school closures, calendar changes, or even sporting events,” explained Dr. Berman in the email. The APS app also allows for easy access to information, news, and pictures from the APS site, creating a very smooth and streamlined way of communication compared to what the town had previously.
Ms. Najarian, the Director of Digital Learning, explained that they chose Blackboard to power the app, “Since the district was already using Blackboard for mass notifications it only made sense to use the mobile app. The district has had other apps that did not integrate seamlessly with our other communication tools, so they were not adopted by families.” As the APS app “integrates with all the school tools – from websites, social media, and mass notifications…It is our hope that families will use the new app to stay informed of all that is going on within the district.”
Although ParentLink is geared towards parents, students can download it too. Having the app on a smartphone really helps everyone stay in the loop with what is happening at AHS, without relying on parents to notify. Access to when the next hockey game is or keeping up with Mr. Conrad’s tweets will be at the tip of everyone’s fingertips. Sophomore Olivia Gillman gave the app a test run saying, “I think it’s a good idea and I like that it is pretty easy to navigate and find a lot of useful things.”
Andover not only launched a new app, they have also introduced an updated version of the school website (www.aps1.net). This update focuses on improving the site’s layout, therefore creating easier navigation for all users.
By Karishma Mistry