We all know that involved parents=better students. The term “better” is relative to the situation, of course, but I don’t think anyone can argue against communicating with parents regarding their child’s education. Technology makes it quicker and easier to keep parents up to date on classroom happenings. Here are some ways to connect with parents digitally:
- Class Website – These are as individual as the teachers who design them. This site could be a one-stop shop for parents to access assignments, due dates, project examples, teacher contact info, and curricular resources for additional help in the class. Teachers in my district use a variety of tools to host their websites, from Website Baker, to Blogger, to Google Sites. I have linked some examples to give you an idea of what each format looks like.
- Class Blog – This can be teacher-run and look more like the class websites mentioned above, or it can be a place where students can post and parents can view completed projects and/or classroom reflections. I am linking one using Weebly (it’s new, so check back later for more student posts), and one using Blogger. Here is a great article on the merits of blogging in the classroom.
- Email – Okay, this one doesn’t need any explanation, but I wanted to make sure it made the list. Make sure to send more positive emails to parents than negative.
- Facebook – This one is a bit controversial, but Facebook pages have their purpose and place. Teachers can establish a class page that parents and students can “Like” in order to receive information in this forum.
- Twitter – Let parents “follow” what you (and their children) are up to in the classroom. Twitter is an easy communication avenue because it only consists of short (140 characters, to be exact) bits of information. Some teachers have even had their students set up classroom Twitter accounts to tweet about their learning.
- Texting – Remind 101 is a safe (and free!) way to send mass text messages out to students/parents. The message is generated on your computer and not linked to your personal cell number in any way. No one can reply to these messages.
- Apps – Two to check out are BuzzMob and Collaborize Classroom. Both are FREE and create a closed network used to communicate with your students’ parents.
Please leave me a comment telling me your favorite ways to stay connected with parents, or to give me your opinion on those mentioned above. Thanks!