Technology has, and continues to, fundamentally change the way in which our children and young people are educated. From interactive learning, to the ability to access learning resources remotely, digital technology has made huge strides in the education sector, and there is no sign of slowing down.

The benefits of embracing technology in the classroom are well documented. Teachers have highlighted an increase in student engagement, easier collaboration between separate groups, and better inclusion – particularly for SEND students.

And it isn’t just the classroom that can benefit. By introducing digital technology into support areas such as the school office and teacher administration, schools can make sure their efforts are focused where they are needed most.

But while many schools may know that digital technology plays a critical role in the improvement of education, it can be a challenge to take the next step into app development.

So how can schools effectively embrace app development to improve their operations and reduce the heavy burden of administration? In our latest article, we explore the subject of app development in schools, and how schools across the country are unlocking the benefits of digital with no or low code development tools.

Why App Development is Important in Schools

Administration in schools can be a monumental task. For each and every student, schools collect teacher feedback, attendance and attainment records, personal and medical data, parental contact information and more – and all of this information needs to be stored and protected.

Not only is this time-consuming, but a heavy reliance on manual data-entry and intervention opens your schools up to the risk of human error and data duplication.

By embracing application development, schools can dramatically increase the efficiency of the back-office processes used to handle their data and reduce the risks associated with manual interference. Apps can automate straight-forward data management processes by collecting data and structuring them into a set format – making it much easier to store, find and use the data in the future.

However, app development can seem a daunting and complex task, particularly if it is something you’ve never done before. And while some schools may have the right skill set in-house to develop a brand new app from the ground up, there will likely be many more that don’t.

No or low-code app development means that your school can create customised applications, without the need for any specialised skill sets in-house. Schools can use their existing digital infrastructure, such as Microsoft or Google, as a foundation for their applications, which can then be created at a low cost, or even for free.

So how do these schools get started?

The Challenges of Successful App Development

As we’ve already touched on, app development can be a tricky and expensive venture, and for schools without the in-house skills to develop an app internally, it’s a common practice to invest in external software.

However, this means paying to access the skills externally, and will often come with a hefty price tag.

More than that, these applications will likely work externally to your current infrastructure. Not only does this create potential issues in terms of software integration or data access, but it also means that your staff are likely going to need additional training to make the best use of the new software.

Add to that multiple logins and activity or data tracking across various platforms, and the administration of the new software alone could begin to mitigate any benefits you were striving to achieve.

Fortunately, the same results can be achieved through low-code application development internally. Think about the systems you use for parent-teacher evening bookings, or communications. Using low-code development, often available through your existing infrastructure, you can create straight-forward, automated apps without incurring high costs.

How Does No/Low-Code Development Help?

So we’ve discussed the importance of digital apps in schools, and the challenges many can face as they look to achieve success. The big question now is, how can no and low-code development help schools achieve their goals?

In any application development, one of the key concerns is likely to be the availability of skills to set up the app successfully. As we’ve mentioned, the skills required for no or low-code applications are not particularly specialised, by the very fact that little knowledge of coding is necessary.

This means that developing custom applications specific to an individual school’s challenges is within the grasp of most – if not all – schools throughout the country.

Moreover, your school likely already has the required infrastructure, such as the Microsoft Power Platform or Google. And, as these platforms naturally integrate with their own environments, there is also less of a time commitment in setting up a new platform and onboarding staff.

In fact, these platforms often provide ready-made templates that can help you get off to the best start possible when it comes to automating common school administrative processes.

Crucially, these applications are not just the purview of the school office. In fact, by using platforms such as Microsoft and Google, apps can also be used to help improve teaching and learning, by empowering educators to produce custom apps for their teaching needs.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the price point for low-code and no-code app development is far lower than the cost of investing in external software – meaning you don’t need to break the bank to achieve success.

Taking the Next Steps

By utilising no and low-code app development, your school can unlock a wealth of benefits, but doing so successfully requires as much forethought as any other education tool.

With decades of experience working closely with schools across the UK, our digital and automation team understand the challenges that schools face and – most importantly – how to put together a unique strategy that works for your school.

So, if you’re looking to take the first step, and are unsure how to start, don’t hesitate to contact the Eduprise team today.