9 Web Tools and Apps for Communicating More Effectively with Parents

“At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.” – Jane D. Hull

One goal teachers often struggle with is communicating regularly with parents. Sending emails or texts to every parent is time-consuming. Additionally, English might not be their first language. The following free web tools and apps help teachers communicate with parents quickly and often will translate messages into several different languages. Find more tips for engaging parents in my presentation, Engaging Parents with Technology and Social Media.

Get your copy of Hacking Digital LearningThe 30 Goals Challenge, or Learning to Go. Ask me about training your teachers, ShellyTerrell@gmail.com!

Parent Communication Tools

  • Remind is a teacher parent communication iOS/Android app. Send text messages with links, images, and attachments to anyone who subscribes. Translate messages into more than 70 languages.
  • Class Tag offers a variety of tools to communicate with parents via text messages or the phone. Messages are translated in the parent’s preferred language then back to English.
  • Cel.ly is an iOS/Android app in which you can send sms messages with photos, emojis, and links. You can even crowdfund.
  • Class Dojo is an iOS/Android app for sharing photos and videos of wonderful classroom moments.
  • Bloomz is an iOS/Android app and web tool for sharing photos, videos, and announcements in multiple languages.
  • Google Apps for Education (GAFE) have incredible features to translate and send emails quickly.  One Google Spreadsheets add-on I use frequently is FormMule, which helps teachers send up to 100 individualize emails within minutes using a template.
  • Simply Circle is a web tool and app teachers and parents can use to post updates and announcements, share pictures and upload documents.
  • Create parent newsletters and announcements with Buncee or Smore.

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Check out my Digital Click and Learn December Calendar with more posts like these full of resources to celebrate the holidays digitally!

Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell is a teacher trainer, instructional designer, adjunct professor, and the author of The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Teaching and Learning to Go: Lesson Ideas for Teaching with Mobile Devices, Cell Phones and BYOT. She has been recognized by the ELTon Awards, The New York Times, the Ministry of Education in Spain, and Microsoft’s Heroes for Education as an innovator in the movement of teacher-driven professional development and education technology. Recently, she was named Woman of the Year 2014 by Star Jone’s National Association of Professional Women and awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, the Twitter chat that spurred over 400 teacher chats. She has trained teachers and taught learners in over 25 countries and has consulted with organizations worldwide such as UNESCO Bangkok, The European Union aPLaNet Project, Cultura Iglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, and VenTESOL. She shares regularly via TeacherRebootCamp.com, Twitter (@ShellTerrell), and Facebook.com/shellyterrell. Her greatest joy is being the mother of Rosco the pug.

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