Communication between parents and teachers is an essential ingredient that fuels the learning process for students. When parents and teachers keep each other in the loop, they can notify each other of achievements, behavioral problems, health issues, and more.
Unfortunately, even the most well-intentioned students forget to pass on information to their parents. Or they might have difficulty remembering the correct details, meaning that parents ultimately get inaccurate messages. Sometimes, poor communication also means that kids miss out on opportunities. For example, parents may need to pay class trip fees by designated dates to reserve a student’s spot. Or a football coach may require that parents submit documentation of their kids receiving recent physical exams that confirm they’re eligible for the sport.
The bottom line is that this element of the educational process is crucial. Parent-teacher communication apps help in all these situations and many others. Here are are a few you might want to consider.
1. Talking Points
Talking Points is a communications app that attempts to break down language barriers between parents and teachers. These barriers can hinder efforts to give updates and ask questions. Teachers can input messages in English and have the app translate them into dozens of languages. Then, recipients who don’t speak English can reply in their native languages.
The app offers text-message-like functionality. It works in a more streamlined way than making teachers resort to Google Translate or other methods. Although this app is free, it also has paid tiers available. (Offered for iOS and Android.)
Bloomz is a multi-functional messaging app that lets teachers do things like give parents classroom-related updates or send them reminders about things they need to do. There’s also a behavior-tracking section and ways for educators to show examples of the kinds of work students are doing during the school day. Also, when teachers send messages to parents, there’s no need for them to reveal personal details like email addresses.
This app provides basic functionality for free, but there are in-app purchases available. (Offered for iOS and Android.)
Like the Talking Points app, Remind allows teachers to translate messages into dozens of languages. However, it can also go further by sending PDFs, photos, and even voice clips. With this app, you can send messages to individuals or groups. The latter option could be handy for class-specific updates. One shortcoming associated with Remind is that it offers only one-way communications—parents cannot respond to the messages. (Offered for iOS and Android.)
ParentSquare provides a secure way for parents and teachers to talk to each other about school happenings. Teachers can share calendar events or files, plus engage in private messages with their students’ parents. There’s also a parent directory that allows people to have their details either visible or hidden. It could help adults connect with each other and collectively propel the learning process at a school.
A free trial and cost options for the platform are available after interested persons who sign up for product demos. The apps are free to download. (Offered for iOS and Android.)
5. Additio EdVoice
This app is not exclusively for parents and teachers, but many of its features target those groups. Messages go to phones that have the app installed, which could be a student’s phone or one used by an authorized caregiver.
EdVoice promotes real-time messaging and lets users avoid the hassles of other methods, such as WhatsApp groups. It’s possible to send messages related to an entire district or school or one focused on single classes. Pricing information is given when people request app demos. (Offered for iOS and Android, under the Additio name.)
SchoolMessenger is more than a direct communication app to facilitate information sharing between parents and teachers. It also has option add-ons, such as features that notify authorized parties that a child arrived at school safely. Plus, the app stores various kinds of student information, giving parents a centralized place to access it. (Offered for iOS and Android.)
Technology makes parent-teacher communication smoother than before
These apps signal the end of lost notes written on paper and allow more clarification between a child’s educator and parents. As a result, there’s more time to focus on enrichment due to fewer communication challenges.
[Editor’s Note: This article was first published on technotes, the TCEA blog.]