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Old 17-09-2008, 6:04 PM
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Universities and Public Schools Worldwide Rely on Clickatell For Instant Text Message

SMS Solutions Rapidly Deployed for Campus Emergency Alerts and Daily Communications
Redwood City, CA, September 17, 2008—Clickatell, leading mobile messaging provider, today announced the success of text messaging as a viable, primary communications channel for universities and public schools worldwide to enhance professor-to-student, teacher-to-parent and educational institution-to-community contact. Universities and public schools are depending on Clickatell SMS to be prepared with instant text message dissemination in case of campus emergencies. To learn more about Clickatell’s SMS for Education solutions please visit
http://www.clickatell.com/central/ca....php?cid=49893
Parents sending children off to school—from kindergarten to university—now have a convenient and effective way to find out what’s happening at school and on campus thanks to Clickatell SMS. Universities and public schools everywhere now have an immediate choice to text-enable time critical communications to fortify education outcomes and communicate promptly and responsibly in cases of campus emergencies.
Just last week, the BBC reported on a study from Next Generation Learning Campaign, “Parents want Texts from Schools” which says, “Many parents would like school reports on their children's performance texted or e-mailed.” The article went on to quote Niel McLean, of Becta's Next Generation Learning Campaign, saying, “This can be done easily and cost effectively, without putting extra pressure on teachers.”
Cell phones are universal in purses and pockets worldwide. Likewise, mobile phones are text enabled directly out of the box. Around the world, cell phone customers rely greatly on text messaging, second only to voice. In June 2008, US carrier networks transmitted more than 75 billion text messages. While a predictable 80% of student-aged people text everyday, 40% of their parent’s generation text as well, and, these numbers are growing rapidly.
Clickatell is working with several education institutions and service providers including: Edulink, Schools-SMS, SMS Engine, Irish Primary Principals’ Network (IPPN) and others, to deploy cost-effective and time-saving text messaging solutions. Campuses across the world are primed to adopt similar, more tech-friendly mobile methods to stay in touch with families, students and others by taking advantage of the way these groups already communicate with each other.
“As was just experienced in the recent US Presidential Election primaries, we’ve all seen how SMS is being used a mass communications vehicle to reach literally millions of people in seconds,” says Pieter de Villiers, Clickatell CEO. “Now, universities and public schools are experiencing the same thing – text messaging saves lives and is already widely adopted by parents, students and communities everywhere. Educators are smart to take advantage of text messaging to make sure they can communicate real time information in a time of need, or keep in touch with parents daily so grades don’t slip.”
Schools and Universities Go With SMS for Real Time Communications
For schools in particular—who constantly suffer from budgetary constraints—SMS helps save precious time and resources. No more time spent sifting through stacks of paper lost in the bottom of backpacks in search of the latest school announcement or to confirm when the next parent-teacher conference has been scheduled. No high set-up costs or installations of new technology required. No time-consuming dialing through phone trees consuming precious administrative or parent volunteer energies. Messages can be easily sent from PCs, laptops or PDAs and given Clickatell’s global coverage, they are received on all major networks anytime, anywhere. Schools around the world are delivering text-based communications that improve the educational and safe environment experience for students, their families, their communities and others:
Clickatell’s expertise helped principal teachers in Ireland (IPPN) to develop a website, dubbed TextaParent (textaparent - school to parents messaging system) for school principals to communicate quickly and easily with parents, staff and community services. IPPN principals simply access and manage the SMS system by logging onto the website and registering their school community for an account. Immediately, those heads of schools can notify groups of unpredictable events like changes, closures and cancellations due to severe weather. Additionally, the service can deliver important reminders, updates and even motivational messages to better organize and prompt large and often diverse populations. And in worst-case scenarios, text messaging may prove to be the fastest, widest and most reliable way to disseminate emergency information during a school or community crisis. "Principals have struggled with the safest, easiest and most reliable way to keep families in the information loop. Now Clickatell has the solution: the shortest distance between a school and a parent/guardian is through the cell phone. We are thrilled to be working with Clickatell to make sure these critical messages are delivered on time so action can be taken immediately if needed," commented Larry Fleming, President of IPPN
Schools-SMS is a UK information and communication service developed by 123 Consultants. This service gives schools the capability to inform parents when a child is not in class. Teachers notify parents through a real -time text message alert. This ground breaking service also offers education tools such as events marketing, meeting reminders and assessment devices for independent study. “SMS text alerts enable schools to immediately and discreetly communicate with parents about important issues. A welcome addition in the effort to combat absenteeism, SMS saves schools a considerable amount of time and money by replacing more expensive, time-intensive and less efficient phone calls or letters to parents,” says Phil Colledge of 123 Consultants.
SMS Engine offers a solution that more than 50 Australian educational institutions depend on. This service allows teachers to notify parents about attendance, homework, field trips, sporting events, wet weather and meetings. “SMS is an easier and more convenient way for parents to stay involved in their children’s education. Families can find out more about activities and news on campus, even at the last minute. Instead of relying on the often closed-lips of their own children, a simple text over their oft-used phone give them the tidbits they need to initiate important conversations at home,” says Keith Lawrence, director at SMS Engine.
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