Bring Calm to the Chaos After the School Bell Rings

Apps can help keep afterschool activity schedule running smoothly

By on August 30, 2012

It’s that time of year again when No. 2 pencils, composition notebooks and backpacks reign supreme. But it’s also the season of dance shoes, cleats and the litany of uniforms, instruments and art supplies needed for the afterschool activities that keep a busy family hopping.

For many, once the school bell rings at the end of the day, the real chaos begins. Extracurricular activities bring with it a barrage of shuttling children, managing carpools and adjusting to an ever-changing schedule. It can be a herculean effort ensuring that the right child is at the right place at the right time on the right day.

Fortunately there are a number of applications and services available to help bring calm to the chaos and others that enable you to easily and quickly share your child’s special moments with family and friends.

Scheduling services like Shutterfly enable families or teams to quickly access contact information and team rosters, post updates as well as manage schedules and player availability. It also gives teammates a quick and secure way to share pictures and videos.

For children who get to their activities on their own, Family Locator or Family Messenger Life 360 gives parents peace of mind knowing that their child has arrived where they need to be, when they need to be there. Family Locator provides detailed location information, directions and an interactive map via a phone or computer. It also enables families to receive arrival and departure updates, set scheduled updates and stay in touch via the built-in family messaging feature.

Once the activity starts, the real fun can begin. Apps like Color for Facebook lets you capture and share live video broadcasts and photos with family and friends so they can experience what’s happening in your life as it happens. Features like Buddy Photo Share and ShareShot, which are available on the Samsung Galaxy S III, help families take the hassle out of photo sharing. Buddy Photo Share recognizes faces so pictures can be shared with friends in the photo while ShareShot provides a simple way to instantly distribute a photo with an entire group.

And, of course, once everyone is where they need to be, your device or tablet can direct you to the nearest coffee house for a little quiet time before it’s time to tackle dinner, homework and bedtime.