By Teachers, For Teachers
It should come as no surprise that parent-teacher communication is an intricate and necessary part of education. Strong parent-teacher communication helps improve academic progress and bridges the gap between home and school. With good communication, teachers have a clearer glimpse into a child’s life outside of school and can make more informed educational decisions in the classroom. Likewise, parents have a window into their child’s days, can monitor their academic progress, and are able to stay informed about upcoming school events. Recently, educational technology has played a large role in parent-teacher communication. Here are a few technology in the classroom apps that are easy for both teachers and parents to use for instant, regular, communication, and that help monitor student progress in the classroom.
Remind allows teachers to send a text message directly to parents’ mobile devices. Teachers can message one parent or the entire class at the same time. Remind keeps personal information private, and allows the teacher to disable a conversation once it ends. The user is also able to see who has seen the message, which ensures that everyone stays informed about upcoming events or need-to-knows. This app is straightforward, easy to navigate, and allows teachers to quickly get messages and reminders out to parents.
Many teachers are turning to a social media platform that millions are already familiar with, and that’s Twitter. Twitter can be used as an excellent parent-teacher communication device. Teachers can use it as a basic announcement system where they tweet about classroom happenings or upcoming events. Teachers are able to send one-way communication to parents (or even students), and can choose to not receive responses back. This helps protect the privacy of others. Or, teachers can fully implement Twitter. They can use it to pose questions and receive feedback from parents or students. Students can use Twitter as a research device, searching for current news, or what is happening around the world. As with all social media platforms, digital citizenship is a necessary part of the roll out and usage of educational technologies.
TalkingPoints is a multilingual texting tool that helps break through language barriers to enhance home and school communication. Highlights include automatic translation to quickly message parents without worrying about finding a translator. Teachers can also upload photos of newsletters to be translated. TalkingPoints is a great way for parents who don’t speak the same language as their child’s teacher to stay just as connected as every other classroom parent.
Edublogs is another educational technology tool that provides students with a voice and demonstrates academic growth in writing. By setting up individual student accounts, students are able to instantly publish their writing. The space can also be used as a way for teachers to share student’s writing with other teachers, administrators, or parents. The published pieces look professional and give students a sense of pride. There are various privacy options, making this blogging platform safe for schools and for students.