School administrators use text alerts for different kinds of reasons. Some solely focus on text messaging for safety notification, while some want a little bit of everything: alerts for missed deadlines, campus events, school suspensions, or even class performance concerns.
Great goals right there, but how do you get as many opt-ins as possible? Here are three strategies that work.
Identify what you’re trying to achieve with using a text messaging system
Make your goals clear to your students. For example, explain to them that they are signing up to receive emergency notifications only. Remember no youngsters would find it cool if you try to bombard them with text messages that have nothing to do with what they have originally signed-up for.
Send out important and timely updates on mass shootings, hurricane alerts, and other natural disasters, in order to guarantee their safety.
Consider asking the parents to opt-in for text alerts, too
This is especially true among students who seem to be always in trouble academically. You care about these students that you only want them and their parents to succeed, so it’s better to do an intervention than do nothing. SMS alert is one of the best ways to solve this problem.
Eric W. Chan and Peter Bergman from Teachers College, Columbia University have recently conducted a field experiment across 22 middle and high schools. The researchers sent text message alerts to parents in regards to their child’s poor class performance and attendance. As a result, “the intervention reduces course failures by 38% and increases class attendance by 17%.”
Use a text messaging system that can broadcast your message within seconds
In April 2007, Virginia Tech’s communications systems failed to notify its students and employees seconds after gunshots were fired in a classroom at 7AM. It was only two hours later when everybody on campus received an email notification, allowing student Seung-Hui Cho to kill 32 students and faculty members that morning.
The Virginia Tech investigative panel concluded that some of those 32 victims could have been saved had the alerts been delivered earlier. This tragic event alone shows how important it is to have a fast and reliable communications system in place. If your students see that the school does invest in giving them the most efficient text alerts service possible, then there should be no reason for them to turn down your invitation.