2014 Australian Mobile & App Awards

mobile, web, IoT, desktop, connected devices
design champion, best studio, best start-up & IoT
plus 20 specialist nomination categories

demand design, celebrate courage

Active School Apps [DRAFT]

Image Credit : Active School Apps Screen Shots by Leigh Kostiainen General Manager







Project Overview

Active School Apps make school mobile apps to enhance communication with parents. By providing the latest information at parents’ fingertips, our school mobile apps make lost notes and misinformation a thing of the past.


Active School Apps


Active School Apps: Facilitating communication.
The idea for Active School Apps was born from a passionate appreciation of the importance of school to parent communication.

General Manager Leigh Kostiainen’s first-hand experience with the at times inefficient and wasteful note and newsletter system led her to seek a solution that would incorporate simple, easy-to-use technology. With Australia having one of the highest percentages of smartphone users worldwide, the choice makes sense.

Active School Apps are passionate about increasing communication between families and schools. Our school mobile app is customisable to school requirements and provides a versatile and instant way for schools to communicate with parents.

Whether to let parents know of a rained out sports event, an upcoming mufti-day or to provide the latest school newsletter, Active School Apps provide schools with an intuitive and cost-effective way of keeping parents in the know.

Project Brief

On Harmony Day in 2012 I was sick of being a bad mum. My son reminded me it was harmony day and he needed an orange t-shirt. Then the dumb mum questions started, do they need orange shorts as well, is it a gold coin donation etc etc. With only 10 minutes to get out of the door in the morning I had no option but to hope a t-shirt was all that was required, and handing over $2 I said "This is your gold coin donation, if you don't need one it's a bonus and you can go to the canteen."

That morning after school drop off I built the first version of Active School Apps.

Within 2 weeks I have my first sale and numerous word of mouth referrals. The business has been built on a strong referral system ever since.

Today Active School Apps continues to specialise in app communication for schools and local councils.

Project Need

ALL schools produce enormous amounts of communication with an ever persistent issue of parent complaints as notes disappear into the note black whole, the newsletter is too expensive to produce the traditional paper version and the transition to electronic lowered readership. Active School Apps take all the information portals generated by schools and delivers that information in a way that parents want to receive it.

In the initial phase where early adopters were eager to demonstrate their new technology, our apps functionality drew less focus compared to the current user who is very focused on what the app can d and how it can help systemise their internal processes as well as communicate better with their key stake holders.

We build our apps to the users satisfaction and ensure their app looks like their brand. This is an important factor given so many educational options are available to their community these days. We continue to seek innovative ideas for our clients, we were the first app provider with absent notes, high school time tables and google map venues integrated.

Now third party integration is a very important aspect that we endeavour to provide seamlessly for all of our clients.

User Experience

We have integrates geo-fencing to ensure content is delivered exactly where it is needed, GPS venue positional maps, two way communication for notes and information. Social sharing has become an important part todays online world and is as important in our apps. Schools report significant drops in phone and walk in office enquiries as well as a reduction in paper absent notes.

Our clients users have reported being more positive in their community culture after the implementation of the school app.

The brightly coloured screens and large easy to read buttons makes it simple to use and intuitive.

We have recently over hauled our training centre to ensure our clients are 100% satisfied with their app buying decision. Our training centre includes videos, PDFs and graphics to help our clients with limited technical knowledge.

Project Marketing

Active School Apps has been built primarily on referrals, with approximately 80% of all new business being derived from this. The main differentiators are our professional branding and attendance at our markets conferences and meetings.

In addition strategic targeting in a specifically selected market has been the key to our success.

We have grown our team to add an office in Brisbane with the appointment of a Sales & Marketing Manager.

Project Privacy

Our clients content is primarily public domain information and hence privacy is a limited issue.

We do however take it upon ourselves to discuss privacy of their content with our clients to ensure they meet the Department of Education standards with regards to children images on the net.

This category recognises education themed apps across all education sectors.
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