KISD: An App For That: TCHS Talon Students Launch Mobile Application For Campus
Timber Creek Talon, the robust, well-known student-run news outlet of Timber Creek High School, has launched a mobile app for their campus.
This project was another chance for the students to have real-world experience and see how their work is impacting the school community.
Talon had researched the possibility of a mobile app for a couple of years, each time getting closer and closer to an actual plan to make it happen, and was able to make it come to fruition this year, thanks to a new partnership the school found with LegitApps.
Fortunately, Talon had been doing the work of collecting a lot of the information that the app developers wanted to feature – events on the calendar, notifications, coverage of the multitude of groups at Timber Creek – so they were able to transfer the work seamlessly into the app and then find even greater ways to get information out to the Timber Creek community. While Talon was always designed as a “hub” for all the information needed by students, parents, and community members, this app is another way to reach the community and inform them of what’s happening.
Greg Janda, Journalism and Student Media Teacher at TCHS, said, “We’d love to have nearly all students, parents and community members to have the app on their phones so the most relevant, accurate and up-to-date information is only a finger-press away.”
This mobile app, not to be confused with the Keller ISD Mobile App, is TCHS-specific, to promote the work of Timber Creek Talon students and connect with the school community.
Senior Caroline Epperson and Editor in Chief Alaina Richardson led the process and were able to see how professional developers manage projects. They used Basecamp for project management and it enabled the students to see the details of how things are progressing and where their help is needed.
“For me, as an adviser, I think every new platform comes with new challenges and things to learn. Understanding how apps work, what they deliver to the audience, and why the information needs to be slightly adjusted to fit that platform is as important as figuring out if a story is best on Newspaper, TV or Radio,” Janda said. “The students brought so much to the table in terms of what students really wanted. They had lists of requested features, things they needed clarification on from our partners, plans for who works on, creates, or updates content in Talon, and a fantastic perspective for how to make the project successful.”
Just like TCHS’s Twitter, Facebook and the site that powers them, the app is called Timber Creek Talon. Just search for Timber Creek Talon on the app stores and it will show off a familiar logo, TCHS content, and sit on the homescreen as Talon.
“We want everyone to know that the same great information is available on all the platforms in a trusted brand,” Janda said.