Story image

DIY apps being built by schools

02 Aug 13

Sometimes the simplest ideas provide the greatest benefits. And for Murrays Bay Intermediate School (MBIS), on Auckland’s North Shore, having the opportunity to build their own mobile app has provided an additional way to connect with parents.

The school used a free app builder,, to create a web-based app that is available on both iPhones and android devices.

Year 7 teacher, Sarah Herbert, who created the school’s app, surveyed students and parents to discover what they wanted quick access to and narrowed it down to nine specific areas.

These included links to the school’s uniform, stationery and tuckshop price lists, reminders given out at assemblies, a link to access the school calendar, and buttons that parents could simply tap to call the school and report absences, access school newsletters, email teachers and access the school’s website.

Herbert says it was a relatively easy app to build. “The only time I got really stuck was near the end as I had made a ‘native iPhone and Android app’ whereas I should have made a web-app,” she says.

“I then struck trouble trying to work out how to have it published. I applied for licensing from Android, [it] cost $25 and was pretty instant. Tried to do the same for Apple and found there were far more hoops to jump through, and a much higher cost. It is here I sought the advice of a professional in order to ensure I was doing the right thing.

“It took less than 30 minutes with a computer programmer to have the web-app working, and the MBIS web-app was born.”

Since the initial web app was developed, other teachers at MBIS have used the technology to build apps for their individual classes. And with more than 1000 downloads, it seems parents are enjoying the ease of use too.

Tile's Mate & Pro Bluetooth trackers land in NZ
If your car keys (or your tablet) have disappeared into the void at the back of the couch or if you left them somewhere in your car, retracing your steps to find them could be a thing of the past.
Government still stuck in the past? Not on GovTech's watch
What exactly is GovTech and what’s been happening in our capital city?
"Is this for real?" The reality of fraud against New Zealanders
Is this for real? More often than not these days it can be hard to tell, and it’s okay to be a bit suspicious, especially when it comes to fraud.
Hands-on review: The iPhone Xs
The iPhone Xs is a win that brought numerous new and exciting features to the market.
How much does your Amazon Prime Video subscription really get you?
For our NZ$8.90 per month, the average cost per title is US$0.00126 - but we only really get a choice of 416 TV shows and 4321 movies. Choice is a little bit limited compared to other countries.
Three ways to improve mental health support in the workplace
“Instead of scrambling into action after a crisis, employers need to be more proactive in supporting employees."
Kordia launches Women in Tech scholarship at the University of Waikato
The scholarship is established to acknowledge and support up-and-coming female talent and future technology leaders.
Samsung joins a global league of AI experts
“As a member of the PAI, Samsung will strive to facilitate the ongoing progress of artificial intelligence.”