When ICSD launched its new mobile app, I decided to download this recent effort by ICSD to explore a new medium to interact with the community. ICSD Superintendent Luvelle Brown described the app as “an example of our commitment to two-way communication.” Overall, after exploring the app and its many functions, the new app is mainly geared toward providing the user with general information about the district while providing a few new options unavailable through the website.
The app first allows you to choose a school.. Then, the user is greeted with the home screen of the app, which features twelve buttons under the ICSD logo. Some direct you to the corresponding parts of the district website while others go to pages with information, such as contacts at the school and district news. The app itself is currently limited to the same functions as the ICSD website, but reformatted.
Under the Departments tab, the user can choose to expand information about a specific ICSD department, which in turn redirects you to their individual page or directory. This part of the app provides phone numbers and emails that you can conveniently click on to contact school officials. The news section provides another useful feature. ICSD chooses to publish most current school news on their Twitter feed, which is often blocked on school Wifi, so students and staff will benefit from having access to district news on their cellular devices.
The most innovative aspect of the app is the district’s new “Let’s Talk” function, which allows users, parents, and all community members to comment on schoolwide issues including academics, the specifics of the current and planned school budget, and specific student concerns. Overall, while the user interface of the app is simple and at times squeezed, the organization of the app is convenient and far easier to navigate than the ICSD website.
Many IHS students voiced their opinions regarding the app. “The mobile app is just a mobile interface of the online website,” said Jefferson Sheng ’20. Alex Whitehead ’20 added that “Although currently the number of uses of the app may be small, it has potential to benefit the ICSD staff and students.” The release of a mobile app seems to be a step in the right direction for ICSD as it moves toward finding new mediums to connect and communicate with the community.