Technology has changed the way we teach. It has given students the opportunity to collaborate with other their peers within their school district, as well as across the globe. Teachers can now find materials to support their classroom lessons with a quick Google search. An important aspect of classroom life that can be enhanced with technology is parent communication.
Guest post by Kristy from 2 Peas and a Dog Teaching Blog
Using Technology to Encourage Parent-Teacher Communication
Hello Education to the Core Readers! My name is Kristy from 2 Peas and a Dog Teaching Blog. I teach 8th grade at a K-8 school in Canada. I am here today to share some tools I have used to make my classroom technology use more effective.
Parent communication is an essential part of the home-school connection. Before you implement any of these online communication tools make they are approved for use by your school district.
1. Create a classroom social media account.
In today’s society many people use social media in their daily lives. Create a classroom Instagram or Twitter account to share information and photos of daily classroom life, homework assignments and upcoming school events. Both of these social media sites allow your user account to be set to private. This means that only approved members can see your posts. Both of these sites have great smartphone apps.
2. Regularly update and use your Classroom Website.
I have used both Weebly (for Education version) and Google Sites to create my classroom websites. Parents were able to access these websites from their mobile devices or computers. A good classroom website should be frequently updated so that parents know what topics you are studying, when assignments and homework are due, as well as any special events that are happening in the near future. My website had these sections: About The Teacher, Classroom Expectations, Class Calendar, Homework Help, Agenda.
3. Send reminders.
Many teachers I know use Remind (formally Remind 101) to send reminders to parents and students about homework, major assignments and school events. This website and app allows teachers to communicate with parents and students who have a smartphone without using their real cellphone number. Teachers create their Remind account and parents sign up for the reminders with a code. When a message is sent from the teacher the parents get a text or an email depending on their preferences. The Remind website has a great one-minute introduction video that you can watch to see if this would be a good fit for your classroom.
4. Save your photocopy paper.
Create a digital classroom newsletter. Send out this newsletter to your families using a BCC (blind carbon copy) email list or a free email subscription service like MailChimp.
We want to hear from you. How do you use technology to communicate with the parents in your classroom? Let us know in the comments below! Also, be sure to come back next week, because I will be talking all about how to use technology for student assessment! See you soon.
Kristy is currently in her 9th year of teaching middle school students in Ontario, Canada. She is an avid reader who strives to share the love reading with her students. Technology is another passion for Kristy, who enjoys finding ways to make her teaching more organized, and engaging for her students through the integration of technology. She co-hosts a weekly #2ndaryELA Twitter chat for Grades 6-12 ELA teachers who are looking to share ideas with other ELA teachers. Her main goal is to help teachers have a better work-life balance. She promotes this view on her blog 2 Peas and a Dog, and by creating classroom ready resources available in her Teachers Pay Teachers store. Kristy loves connecting and collaborating with other teachers around the globe.