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updated: 2/6/2013 12:41 PM

Stevenson High considering going mobile with an app

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  • Stevenson High School officials are considering creating an app that would allow students and parents to access schedules, calendars and other information on smartphones and tablets.

       Stevenson High School officials are considering creating an app that would allow students and parents to access schedules, calendars and other information on smartphones and tablets.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer, 2012

 
 

Stevenson High School officials are considering creating a mobile app that could allow students and parents to access athletic schedules, calendars and other information on smartphones and tablets.

The Lincolnshire high school would be among the first in the nation with its own full-service app if the project moves forward. Neighboring Libertyville and Vernon Hills high schools launched apps in December.

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"An increasing number of people are using smartphones to access information these days, and it makes sense for us to have an app available," said school spokesman Jim Conrey, who's leading the project.

The primary audience would be Stevenson students and their parents, Conrey said.

"But faculty, staff and others could benefit as well," he said in an email.

The project is in its infancy. Officials have talked with some possible vendors but haven't inked a development deal.

Stevenson community members can take an online survey about what they'd like to see in an app. It's available through Feb. 12 at: docs.google.com/a/d125.org/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dGRoVWdPa1QwNGlkdWRoSDJheFFKeXc6MQ.

With Apple and Android devices dominating the smartphone and tablet markets, Conrey said Stevenson officials would target those platforms first.

"Apple devices by far are the largest percentage of our website traffic, followed by Android," he said. "We'll have to see about Blackberry and anything else."

Apps that offer high school schedules, assignments and other features are rare.

In the Chicago area, Maple Park's Kaneland Unit District 302 and West Aurora School District 129 offer apps that are limited to communication with staff members.

Since Libertyville-Vernon Hills Area High School District 128 launched apps for its schools about two months ago, 1,088 people have downloaded the software, spokeswoman Mary Todoric said.

Nearly 88 percent of the downloads were for Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad or iPod, she said. The rest were for devices running Android software.

Todoric is excited about those numbers.

"Clearly, people are downloading it and are talking about it," she said.

School apps are slightly more common at the college and university level. Northwestern University and Northern Illinois University are among the Chicago-area colleges with apps.

Conrey and other Stevenson officials have looked at those college apps, as well as the ones at use in District 128, to determine what might work best for Stevenson.

They'd like to have the app ready before the start of the 2013-14 school year.

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