Twilio for Education


School Absence Hotline by Carlos Pero

School Absence Hotline is an application for parents and teacher to communicate about absences and provide information regarding H1N1 and other illnesses that might keep students home from class.

Interview with Carlos Pero

With the advent of the flu season, and
especially due to the swine flu, record numbers of students are calling
in sick. Typically the parents call in and speak to an administrator or
leave a message to report an absence, but using automation and Twilio
the process can become much more streamlined and accurate.

Using Google App Engine,
I had already built an online directory for the students in the school,
which contained the home and mobile phone numbers for the parents.
Using Twilio, when a parent calls the hotline, their caller id
immediately identifies their student(s) and gives them the opportunity
to record an absence for the next schoolday. They specify if the child
is sick, and if the illness has flu-like symptoms. This way, the App
Engine datastore can keep track of who is absent due to flu, and for
how many days in a row.

This
application is convenient for parents, because they are interacting
with a system that is identifying their student by name, and they can
call at their convenience (even in the middle of the night) knowing
that the absence will be properly recorded.