I am so excited to be sharing these 4 great apps with you to facilitate parent-teacher communication within your classroom. I will give you the inside scoop (tips) as well as helpful insights on each app. So you can say bye-bye to parent-notes and hello to ease!
First an foremost, lets be real about parent-notes! They are so dreadful to write, draw-up and keep copies of (if you are an elementary teacher you may possibly have pre-made parent-notes that consist of behavior, daily schedule etc. We use a pre-made parent-note within our classroom that we design each year that is focused on our students’ schedules and daily needs). Along with these notes, you never know if a parent even received the note! This is a big one if you are teaching older students who may tend to throw out notes before they get home, wink wink. Lastly, in today’s day and age where we are constantly on the go and faster is better, parent-notes are like snail mail.
Now onto the apps! My source; 4 Apps to Foster Parent-Teacher Communication. I found this article through Twitter and wanted to share with you all a more in-depth review on the apps. Hope you find this blog post, as well as my source, very helpful!
Bloomz: Free. This app reflects a more professional feel with calendar reminders, student portfolios and even behavior tracking; this app has it all!
- Photo & Video Sharing (can really be beneficial for homework help! Also wonderful for including parents on a project/activity completed in school)
- Class Updates (reminders, due dates, special events e.g. The math test is now Friday)
- Manage Events (send invites. Parents can R.S.V.P. to an invite and you can keep track of what parents will be bringing to a party! Field trips, in-school events etc.)
- Student Timelines (sharing students’ work with parents)
- Behavior Tracking (great for special education kids! or just to work on behaviors with a parent; staying in the loop)
- 2-Way and Group Messaging (great for one-on-one communication and entire classroom communication to get ideas on parties etc or to say congratulations to the entire class for doing well on a test or while a substitute was in)
Overall, Bloomz is a great app; easy to use and its features are endless! It does take sometime getting used to, however it is pretty simple once you get the hang of it. This app sends email alerts e.g. message from teacher, so you can stay in the loop and not have to keep checking the app. Great way to get to know parents (profiles) and for parents to get familiar with one another.
Classdojo: Free with some in-app purchases. This app reflects a fun, cute way to communicate with parents & kids through messages, point system and timelines; this app is fun for all to use!
- Photo & Video Sharing (beneficial for homework help, sharing in-classroom experiences)
- Class Updates (reminders, due dates, special events e.g. The math test is not Friday)
- Behavior Tracking: (both students and parents can be engaged in behavioral tracking through a point system)
- Messaging (great for one-on-one communication as well as sending out group messages)
- All Teachers (every teacher can be linked to a student’s account rather than having several accounts for one student)
- Student Involvement (students will love creating a “monster” for their profile picture and can be engaged with their school work and behavior +/-)
Overall, Classdojo is a great app that functions well for teachers, parents and students alike. This app is very easy to use, and very family friendly for both children and parents to utilize. This app sends email alerts e.g. message from the teacher, so you can stay in the loop and not have to keep checking the app. Creating “monsters” for their profile picture is adorable and engaging.
Remind: Free. This app reflects more of a messaging system that can also be utilized for all classes and student-student communication as well. Simple app setup, geared toward high school. You do not need the app to participate.
- Messaging (built to mimic text messaging, great for instant communication as well as to know who read what messages)
- Photo Sharing (beneficial for homework help)
- Voice Recording (great for non-visual learners)
- Student Involvement (meant more for teacher-student communication with class updates, reminders, and homework help)
- SMS (no app needed to participate in messaging. Great for those parents who do not want to download the app or do not have a smartphone)
Overall, Remind is a great app for high school students/teachers/parents to communicate about assignments, facilitate learning as well as assignments/test/classroom change reminders. Very simple setup and is a way to communicate instantly with students and parents.
Simply Circle: Free/Membership. This app reflects more of a professional feel and can be used for P.T.A., sport groups, scouts and communities etc. Can be used for messaging to sharing to fundraising.
- Photo Sharing (beneficial for homework help, document sharing as well as flyers for sales/fundraising)
- Class Updates (automatically sends reminders for events or assignments. Parents can also save the event right to their personal calendars)
- Volunteers (easily create needs for parent volunteers for parties, field trips in room support; this feature is part of the membership)
- Messaging (group messages or one-on-one messaging)
Overall, Simply Circle is a great app for classrooms as well as P.T.A., sport groups, scouts and communities. Very easy to use and reminders and volunteers are a breeze to keep track of. Though this apps free version is very limited to its utilization, investing into the app may be more beneficial to those needing help with fundraising.