Twilio for Education: Helping Students, Teachers, and Parents

Levi-kennedy Carlos-pera-contest-winnerWe have not one, but two Twilio developer contest winners this week.  Congratulations to Levi Kennedy (right) and Carlos Pero (left), who both build Twilio applications focused on education.

Both submissions help with notifications around absences; however, they’ve tackled the use case from two different perspectives: teachers communicating with students, and parents communicating with the school. by Levi Kennedy allows professors to connect with their students when their students need them most.  A class cancelation.  College students love it when their early morning classes are cancelled, but not without notice. provides an easy-to-use interface enabling college professors to connect with their students via the most common form of communication.  That is smoke signals.  Well, not really, it’s the telephone.

It’s pretty simple, just head over to, create an account, add a course and some students, and head back to the dashboard to either send a Text-to-Speech message, or record a message.

School Absence Hotline by 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.

Demo video is on the way… stay tuned.

You Could Be the Next Contest Winner

twilio-developer-contest-netbook-giveawayEach week we announce a new contest category on our contests page, and developers have until midnight on the following Sunday to submit for the chance to win a Dell Netbook and other prizes.  In the past we’ve teamed up with companies like Heroku, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google to give away a total of over $2000 in developer credit on various platforms,  and more than 20 Netbooks!

Join us for week #21 of the contest, as we turn the focus to Twilio for Non Profits.  We will be giving away a Netbook AND granting $500 of Twilio credit to the winning submission to keep it running, as donation to the non-profit the winner chooses.