Social Apps in Education: Mobile Apps for Students
Jensen & Friends is an Australian project for providing psychological support to school children via a social mobile app.
Many students face critical issues in their daily lives and feel scared of talking about these problems. Australian entrepreneurs decided to provide school students with a safe and anonymous way to receive help and support in different perilous situations. A mobile app with rich functionality became the solution.
The app works as a mobile assistant that can speak to the students using ready-made text and video messages. Animated app characters engage school students and simplify their daily routine life by covering acute issues in a safe and positive manner. The app works on a database of content created by clinical psychologists targeting body image, anxiety, bullying, self-esteem and other issues that students may face on a daily basis.
Features for Students:
- Personalised experience by selecting their nickname
- Easy private access via any smartphone
- Professional, qualified content
- Search of additional resources
- Chat with other users within a specific school group
There is also a web administration part of the project. It’s intended to help school representatives manage all the app resources and improve the content in the app.
Features for Administrators:
- Mobile app administration
- Creating and customizing school groups
- Selecting characters that can talk with children
- Planning regular video messages to group members
- Sending individual text messages to students
The main complexity was with the business requirements specification. As we had to develop an app from scratch, it was especially important to clearly formulate the customer requirements. The customer changed the business model during app development. Because of this we had to focus on a new set of priorities relatively quickly. We adopted new conditions and implemented all the tasks according to a detailed business analysis and fair objective setting.
iOS, Android, HTML5, JavaEE, CSS3, JSON, SQL
The resulting mobile solution is very easy to use and is targeted at one of the most vulnerable groups of children — school students. It was successfully launched in December 2015 in some Australian schools. Although the app provides lots of features, in 2016 we reinforced app functionality with the ability to send video messages to users. This solution is currently being used by hundreds of teenagers in Australia and allows them to get advice whenever they need.