We are parents of a 1st-grader and are used to communicating with friends and colleagues instantly and often. Today, almost 90 percent of parents own a smartphone and technology plays an important role in our daily lives. Although we both try to leave work at work, we still check our email accounts several times a day. We regularly read articles, check our social media accounts, text, scroll through Pinterest, or even play Candy Crush Saga. Thanks to social communication apps like Facebook, we are able to easily connect with family and friends by sharing pictures, posting on their wall, or sending a message, all without having to dial a number or sit down and write a letter.

And now, this digital communication style has migrated into our school system, too.

Communication App for Easing the Minds of First-time Parents

Last year, we sent our sweet little boy to kindergarten. For us as parents, it was a bittersweet sign that our baby was growing up, but also a realization that he would spend a majority of his time away from mom and dad. His teacher, Laura Briggs, was familiar with the “nervous first-time parent” syndrome, and informed us that her communication style is completely paperless, and she uses the Bloomz communication app to interact with parents. We were so excited to have the ability to instantly connect with our son’s teacher, get updates on what he was doing throughout the day, and stay informed about school activities.

Ms. Briggs used her own phone during school to share photos or video, resources, and personal messages with all the parents through the communication app—all without sharing her phone number or email address.

Much like Facebook’s newsfeed, Bloomz has a scrollable feed that showed us photos of classroom activities, a description of what was happening each day, and ideas for enrichment at home. She also sent school flyers and announcements and scheduled school and classroom events using the calendar feature, so we never missed an important date.

(Next page: Speedy responses; collaboration)

About the Author:

Nick and Kelly Revak are parents to a first-grader in Loudoun County, Virginia.