7 Innovative Apps for Parent-Teacher Communication
January 28, 2015
For many parents, connecting with teachers and staying in the loop about their children’s progress in school is of the utmost importance. Studies show parental involvement helps foster and improve academic performance, while lessening children’s chances of developing behavioral problems. Simply put, involved parents help grow successful students, but in an increasingly digital age with increasingly busy parents, there is a demand for highly accessible ways for parents to connect with teachers and vice versa.
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
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.