Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Keeping in frequent communication with parents often can be a critical factor in ensuring the success of a child in a class.  Teachers and parents may want to communicate about grades, behavior, or simply about the goings-on in class.  Technology makes building and sustaining these lines of communication easy and manageable for teachers and parents.  This blog post will outline some communication ideas that you may want to consider as you kick off this school year.

There are some apps that make communication easy.  

    Remind.  According to CommonSense.org:  One of the biggest benefits is the ability to send immediate, up-to-date information to anyone (that is, anyone with a text-message-capable mobile phone). Teachers can send messages and updates to an entire class (or a group of classes), and the app offers more opportunities for students, parents, and teachers to interact, whether in groups or privately.

ClassDojo is another app that has the added feature of an embedded points system for behavior management as well as the ability to share snapshots of learning with parents.  Like Remind, private conversations can occur between teachers and parents.  ClassDojo’s website has ready made materials to make the launch of this system easy and painless for everyone.

Social media can also be leveraged for communicating:  

If your class has a hashtag, you could post updates on Twitter with that hashtag so that the news is easy to follow.  Utilizing a class hashtag on a social media account like this also allows many other contributors to the class news.  Read more about how students can even take a class hashtag a step further here.

Instagram is a great way to keep parents updated about class activities with the added benefit of it being visual.  Language and literacy barriers may be less of an issue using a platform like this.



More traditional forms of communicating include email groups and class websites.  Google’s new and improved Google Sites makes for easy and quick updating.  Check out the tutorials in the GSuite learning center.  And of course, sometimes email is easiest and quickest since it is accessible from both computers and mobile devices.  See how to set up an email group in Gmail for your parents here.


Don’t forget:
-teachers should be strategic about the forms of communication they choose to use with parents.  If parents aren’t on twitter, a class hashtag would not be helpful.  Perhaps a survey or discussion at parent teacher night will reveal how parents would prefer to communicate.
-the best communication is two-way.  A class website might be great for sharing information but to truly strengthen communication lines to benefit the students, consider a method that allows parents to reach out to teachers as well.



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