NJ district adopts mobile application

Edison Township Public Schools has partnered with Blackboard Inc. to launch a custom-designed mobile application for school and district communications, the company announced today. In launching the app, Edison Public Schools will be the first K-12 district in the U.S. to leverage the Blackboard Mobile™ Central platform, already used widely by higher education institutions worldwide.

The new app, which is scheduled for release in the fall, will provide students, parents and the Edison Township community with access to school news, district-wide events, maps, contact directories and more, on smartphones, mobile devices and platforms.

The app will also provide mobile access to Edison’s Web-based Parent Portal, giving parents the ability to securely access information on their child’s schedules, grades, and attendance. The district also plans to use the Blackboard Mobile Software Development Kit (SDK) to develop custom features for the larger Edison community including a real estate module that will identify the associated elementary, middle and high schools for specific addresses on the market.

“As more and more children and parents access and interact with information on mobile devices outside of the classroom, there is a great opportunity for K-12 schools and districts to leverage mobile technology within the educational experience,” said Dr. Richard O’Malley, superintendent of Edison Township. “Reaching parents on platforms they are already comfortable and familiar with will lead to increased interaction and engagement, which will ultimately lead to increased student achievement.”

With more than 15,000 students spread across 17 schools in New Jersey, the district has a diverse demographic of students and families that the mobile app will help to better serve.

“A large number of our students have family members that live all over the world and are interested in knowing more about our schools,” said O’Malley. “Leveraging Blackboard Mobile Central will be a game changer for Edison as it will give our district a global presence.”

The Edison Public Schools’ mobile app will be available later this fall as a free download to mobile devices from the respective app stores. The app will be available as a native application for Android™, BlackBerry®, Palm® webOS™, and Apple® iOS devices for the iPhone® and iPod touch®, as well as a mobile Web version to support all other Web-enabled devices.