Services were down from 16:00 GMT to 22:00 on Monday 4th October.
According to Downdetector, a company that tracks outages, there have been 10.6 million reports of problems around the world. However, the true number of people affected is significantly higher: Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and Whatsapp are used by almost 3.5 billion people.
When deciding what communication strategy to opt for, some schools fall into the trap of using generic messaging apps for the majority of their outbound communications. Here, they take the phone number of all their parents, and put them in group chats for their relevant year group. This may be an economical option, as many of these apps are free-to-use. However, there are a number of issues with this choice of platform. During the course of this article, I will be going through a number of key factors which may have been overlooked by these schools. Following it, you should have full clarity in developing a clear and effective parental communication plan.
In group chats, parents will have access to other parents’ details; may be exposed to inappropriate messages. It should be the choice of parents if they share their details with other parents.
Who has access to what? And when? It’s also not fair for teachers to receive messages from parents out of school hours.
As a parent, what is now the best method of contact? Group chats? Email? SMS? Call school landline? Call school mobile number? Speak to someone at school physically – too many options will create an admin nightmare for parents.
Are these interactions recorded? Who manages these? How are they able to keep tabs of all communications? Who sends out these messages?
Does every parent have a smartphone? If not, will this parent be left out? Does every parent know how to use these apps?
If the school has sent out an urgent message that requires a response, or an action, how likely is the parent going to carry this out? If a parent is receiving an SMS, email, and an app notification, in a single day, which one of these takes priority?