6 Handy Tools For Better Student-School Communication
Current technologies offer schools great platforms to facilitate their communication with students. Social media, texting and mobile apps allow school staff to choose the most appropriate channel to both share and gather feedback from their students.
Today, there are so many tools that give us access to important updates about school assignments and events, allow us to post and share projects and ideas and foster a better connection between parents, educators and students.
A study published by Harvard and Brown University researchers highlighted the positive relationship between improved student performance and increased communication between schools, parents and students.
Bottom line: communication helps students perform better.
Here are some of the best tools to enhance school-student communication:
1. Class Dojo
This is a free service that facilitates sharing among teachers, students and parents. Class Dojo is especially popular with K-6 teachers and parents. Here’s what you can do with it:
· Send photos and videos to parents of their child in class.
· Send reminders, updates and notices to parents.
· Parents and teachers can both translate messages into 35 languages.
· The app keeps parents engaged in their student’s progress at school and creates an easy platform for teachers and parents to communicate.
An educational social media app that allows for integrated communication between parents, students and teachers:
· Students can post their work in the Student Activity Feed and the app sends out notices about upcoming or overdue assignments, completed assignments, quizzes and tests.
· Teachers can answer questions, keep track of classwork and provide feedback to both students and parents. They can also connect with and collaborate with other teachers through the site
· Parents can be kept up to date and in the loop about assignments, progress and feedback on their child
· Administrations can gain new analytics insights to their school’s overall performance
3. Text Messaging
Texting is a really efficient way of communication. Did you know that nearly 100% of texts are read by the receiver and that they’re read within 3 minutes of being sent? When it comes to getting in touch with parents, staff and students, timing is often a key issue. Last minute changes in meeting times or venues, important notifications about school events, enrollment procedures, trips, graduations or other events can be communicated through text.
This case study about Fort Scott Community College shows how the student response rates skyrocketed after they started sending texts instead of emails or voicemails. Texting can enhance communication between school staff and students by making it faster and more streamlined.
This is a fun app that combines voicemail, text and photo messaging into a virtual “walkie-talkie.” It’s a popular communication tool with teachers, parents and students that allows you to share important messages and updates quickly.
You can also easily share ideas, post photos of classroom work and school events, coordinate meetings and more.
Parents can attend student-teacher meetings with remote students, administrators can meet with each other on Voxer instead of face-to-face. This app saves time and keeps everyone on the same page.
5. Popular Social Media Platforms
Though not specific to education, social media platforms have the benefit of being used by and accessible to virtually everyone. Teachers and students don’t have to download a specific app or learn how to use a new program in order to be engaged.
Teacher Neil Gupta explains how social media helped him connect:
“After finding out that our parents and students use social media tools, like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, I am amazed at how much benefit comes in posting a picture of a great lesson or showcasing our talented students… I regularly receive positive feedback from parents and community members about their appreciation for knowing about the great things happening in their schools.”
Facebook: Create a class page where you post assignments, photos and videos of class projects and trips. Invite parents to join the page so they can participate in their student’s classroom experience. Things like rideshares, parent-teacher meetings, student presentations can all be announced there.
Instagram: Encourage classroom pride and sharing by posting photos of students engaged in school activities on this increasingly popular photo-sharing site.
Twitter: Most Twitter posts are viewed from mobile phones. You can keep parents updated throughout their day with brief posts and photos. One classroom teacher would rotate the task of posting Twitter updates among students.
The student was called Tweeter and would post 2–3 updates a day and coordinate with the classroom Photographer.
Pinterest: This virtual pinboard allows you to create a page for your classroom and then “pin” photos on different topics like “Science Fair Projects”, “Class Trips”, “Student Portraits” and others. This site is very user-friendly, making it easy for parents and students to see what’s new in your classroom.
This is an all-in-one communications platform that integrates websites, notifications platforms, mobile apps and social media to make sure that nobody is ever left out of the loop.
Blackboard optimizes school websites and apps to give them more intuitive interfaces, making it easier to find and share information.
Its mass communication channels include voice, text, email, social media, website and more, so everyone is kept informed, no matter what communication platform they use.
It’s all the innovation and creativity of the latest communications technologies channeled towards enhancing education. Blackboard has an international reach as well, allowing for global integration of education methods.
Whether it’s posting photos of schoolwork, keeping parents informed about upcoming assignments or student presentations, coordinating student-teacher meetings or addressing behavioral issues in real time, communication tools enhance educational experiences.
The more engaged students are in the education process, the more positive their outcomes and experiences will be.
Effective communication can improve test scores, create better learning environments and prepare students for higher education and work environments.
Sharing their work helps foster creativity and evokes a sense of pride and accomplishment. Use these tools to make communication a priority between home and classroom.