NISD releases free app

Published 3:25 pm Wednesday, May 13, 2015

NEDERLAND — The Nederland Independent School District has released a new mobile app for iPhone and Google Android users.

Cindy Laird, NISD director of instructional technology, said NISD mobile app — completely free and as easy to download as Facebook or Twitter — provides users with quick access to district news and popular links.

“When I was building the app, I tried to keep it simple and stick to common sense,” Laird said Wednesday. “I tried to think of it from the perspectives of a parent, a teacher and an administrator to see what all those groups would need — but there’s also more general information and links for the community.

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“The app offers quick and easy access to phone numbers for each school, district news and push alerts, the district calendar, school menus, popular links users open on our district website — like how to get to Bulldog Stadium — and there’s a great gradebook access feature for our parents and students.”

Laird said the only feature users must log-in — and by extension, have a solid connection to one of the district’s schools — for is the gradebook access feature.

“The gradebook feature is mainly for our parents, but we do have several high school students with accounts of their own to track their progress online,” Laird said. “For a parent or a student to get that kind of access, there’s a form to register for a gradebook access account that must be turned into the district.

“Once we get that form, the gradebook account will allow them to monitor overall class grades, individual daily assignments and classroom behavior. Our students mainly use the gradebook account to track their own progress in real time — they don’t have to wait until the end of the year to know their GPA or class rank.”

Laird said she was asked about building a district app during the April NISD Board of Trustees meeting. She researched and looked into some development programs to help create the app and said she spent about a week on the development and design.

“This is something the district needed to better the communication between our parents, teachers and administrators,” she said. “Everybody is so digitally connected these days. We’ll continue to use our district website and Facebook page, but the app will be another great communication tool for us.”

Laird said app users with any questions or suggestions don’t have to leave the app for a conversation. The in-house “Contact Us” email link will send a message directly to Laird.

To download the new app, search for “Nederland ISD” in the iPhone App Store or the Google Play Store.

Twitter: @crhenderson90