Schools are an interesting area for technological innovation. Many statistics argue that digitalisation in the education sector is progressing rather slowly. Yet teachers face the most digitalised generation in the classroom every day.
The next wave of digital natives is spending a huge amount on their phone screens every day. The generation demands new ways of teaching and classroom management. When messengers took the world by storm, the educational sector struggled to find answers to several questions:
How to combat new ways of cyber-bullying? How to stay in touch with parents and pupils? Should we change our offering or focus on email newsletters?
School boards, dinner tables and talkshows heavily discussed these questions. All the while, teachers and students did, what most digital workforces do. They went for a consumer solution, to solve their pressing issues.
As I'm automatically part of all conversations, I can monitor students and - in case of any misconduct - react swiftly.- High School Teacher, Untis User
The three problems with WhatsApp and other Messengers in school communication
Using consumer chats for school communication creates a multitude of issues:
- Teachers have to share their private phone numbers with students and parents, to use the system.
- Data privacy concerns were raised as schools in European countries are not allowed to discuss student data (due to GDPR) on consumer products.
- Creating virtual classrooms in consumer chats exposed private phone numbers of students, allowing them to be bullied by their classmates.
That's why market leading software provider Untis approached us, to create a messenger for education.
Connecting the dots
By merging Grape with Untis, teachers can create chats with their classrooms, with a single click. By utilizing our Server API, the Untis platform syncs any changes (students joining, students leaving, etc.). Grape can send updates and push notifications.
Teachers can also broadcast infos in special broadcasting channels. These channels allow a one-way communication with their students.
This shows one of our big strengths. Grape attaches itself to the existing virtual environment of any organisation. Instead of pulling everybody into a new program, it functions as an upgrade. It's a realtime communication module.
Untis can focus on its core : scheduling, class-book, accounting, and much more. We take care of offering their customers an amazing communication service, tailored to their needs.
With our new VoIP service & parents to be integrated, we still have many projects on the horizon. For now we focus on providing a GDPR-compliant alternative to consumer messengers. Our product integrates deeply into the software, 25.000 schools already use every day.