7 Innovative Apps for Parent-Teacher Communication
Here are seven innovative apps for smart phones/smart devices that allow teachers and parents to connect and stay on the same page throughout a student’s education:
Remind is a free app that allows teachers to safely send text messages to parents and students regarding classroom assignments and reminders. The app organizes text messages by subject and allows teachers to send anything from daily affirmations to reminders about deadlines and upcoming projects.
Buzzmob offers the ability to connect the entire community (e.g., administrators, teachers, parents and students) via a location-based platform. The app cuts down on paper costs by eliminating costly memos, connects parents to teachers swiftly and with ease, sets event and deadline reminders to parents and sends out information regarding cancellations.
Class messenger is another form of direct, two-way messaging that strengthens the connection between parents and teachers and allows both parties to communicate about a student’s potential, progress, strengths, struggles and so forth. It can be used on a phone, computer or table. Parents can join a class and engage in a dialogue with teachers who can send test results, reminders, photos and even videos.
Google For Education is a lot like Google +, except it’s for the classroom. Teachers can create a class group (similar to a Google+ Circle), create documents that can be viewed and edited by others, share information on the Cloud, video chat, launch websites and share calendars. Google For Education allows students to see all their classes in one place, find assignment deadlines, download files and reach out to a teacher if necessary — and parents can also see everything and be as involved as they prefer.
VolunteerSpot is an app that helps organize group meetings, e-mails, and parent-teacher conferences. The app can be used to organize parent chaperones or school volunteers for various events, field trips and more.
Mailchimp is an e-mailing service that can be tailored for educational needs. It can send automated e-mails based on each parent, so if you only want one e-mail a day, you’ll get only one, but if you enjoy seeing that little red number on your phone you can get as many as you want. It allows teachers to design the layout of the e-mails and send them anywhere, from any device.
With the slogan “where education meets innovation,” Edmodo is an application with many uses. Teachers can use it to track student’s progress, swiftly access their knowledge on a topic, export classroom data and create games based on learning standards, which can be shared with parents. It provides them with easy-to-decipher charts that depict which students have surpassed their goals, which have met their goals and which have yet to meet them. Schools can also use Edmodo to track progress and create professional communities. The information gathered by the application can be easily shared, and students can enjoy personalized learning methods — a crucial aspect of modern education that is often overlooked.
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The power of good professional development (PD) is no secret. But what is “good” PD? Research and surveys have shown that teachers respond best to interactive, robust, and personalized forms of PD where they are able to take control and ownership of their own learning. Often referred to as DIY PD, examples include engaging in social media communities, or attending community-build conferences and seminars. What’s even better is when you combine the two, resulting in SXSWedu.
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Special Education is defined as the practice of educating students who are faced with developmental, physical, and/or neurological delays. These special needs are at a level of severity that they cannot be met in a typical general education classroom. Special education programs cover a wide range of disabilities and learning differences, including but not limited to:
- Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Speech and/or Language Impairment
- Learning Disabilities
- Blindness / Visual Impairment
- Deafness / Hard of Hearing
Click here to learn more about special education, as well as a complete list of disabilities recognized by the IDEA and DSM-IV.
Knowing and understanding special needs are only half the battle, especially if you’re a
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Professional development might mean a number of things to teachers — including participating in district meetings, attending a few conferences, earning a masters’ degree or networking with other education professionals on social media. These are all great options. However, an often overlooked way to expand and develop your teaching skills may be free, accessible to everyone, and right under your nose: starting a blog.
Blogging may require a bit more effort than other popular forms of professional development, but once you get the ball rolling, you may find blogging to be a very rewarding practice that helps build your career.
Our Teach100 bloggers speak out about the top 10 reasons to create and maintain a blog:
- Think and write more clearly …