The official high school directory is essential reading for 8th graders applying to high school in New York City. But, at 565 pages, the directory can be cumbersome, especially for kids already lugging pounds of textbooks.
Now, we've created a mobile site that will get this information to kids where they are most likely to use it--on their smartphones.
Our new iPhone/Android mobile website, http://insideschools.org/sage, combines all of the information in the official high school directory with our own reviews (based on our school visits) in a platform easily accessible on your smartphone, tablet or computer.
You can search by borough, subway line, middle school grades and/or keyword, sifting through hundreds of high schools to find the best matches. Enter a search term--like "dance" or "Japanese" or "robotics"--and you'll get a tailored list of schools with quick statistics: how many kids graduate on time, how many kids say they feel safe in the school and how many grads enroll in college, for example. If a school looks appealing, you can click to read our Insideschools.org review or find detailed information about after school programs.
"This is designed to make life easier for today's tech-savvy 8th graders," said Insideschools founder and Senior Editor Clara Hemphill, who unveiled the mobile website Tuesday at a competition sponsored by the Department of Education's Schools Choice Design Challenge. "Instead of paging through hundreds of pages of the high school directory, you can find what you want very quickly."
Hemphill spent two months developing and refining the mobile site with Insideschools software engineer Edward Yau, Center for New York City Affair's Education Project Director Kim Nauer and graphic designer Caitlin Masley for the DOE's Schools Choice Design Challenge. The challenge pitted Insideschools against five software developers -- FindtheBest,Noodle, Unigo, Admitted.ly and Vital.Al -- who competed for the best high school search tool. Four high school student judges selected FindtheBest as the winner. Each app was created using a digitized, searchable database of the high school directoryreleased by the DOE for the design challenge.
So try our mobile site, try out the others, too, and send us feedback! What do you like about our site? What features of the other sites would you like us to incorporate? You can post your thoughts in the comments of this post, tweet @Insideschools, post on our Facebook wall or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.