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Communicating with parents in the digital world

This post was written by Erin Dye, a ClassDojo Thought Partner who works in professional development at Green Light Learning

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Gone are the days when you only had access to parents via one-way monthly newsletters or twice-a-year parent teacher conferences. Thanks to technology you can easily keep in touch with your students’ parents all year-round.

Here are some tips to get your communicating with parents in the digital world: 

Keep a Class Blog

Rather than sending home a monthly or weekly newsletter to parents that might never make it out of the bottom of your students’ backpacks, try starting a class blog. Set a schedule for posting and share that schedule with parents. Allow moderated comments on the posts to get parents involved with the classroom.

Have your students do most of the blogging. Assign one student a week to be the class chronicler. Have that student take photos, record interviews with other students, and summarize what the class learned. Weebly is an easy platform for students of all ages to use.     

Get your class blog linked to your school’s homepage to show all the exciting work your class is doing!

Use a Messaging Service

Sending individual texts or emails to parents is time consuming and not very private. Let a messaging service, such as ClassDojo Messaging, do all the work for you. Once students and parents opt into the system, it allows you to easily send text message blasts to update all parents at once, or you can privately message them to keep them up-to-date on their child’s progress. You don’t see their phone numbers and they don’t see yours. This is a great option for families who may not have home Internet but do have smartphones.

Set Up a Class Social Media Account

If parents don’t want to have their phones buzzing all the time, consider starting a class Twitter account or Facebook page. You can use the page to share updates, photos, and links to student work. If your students are under 13, be sure to set the account to private. To view the page, all parents will need to have Twitter or Facebook accounts (many of them probably already do). Before setting up any class social media accounts, review your school’s Privacy Policy and check with administrators.

Make Parents Feel Welcome

Let parents know that your classroom is a welcome space for them. Consider inviting parents to your classroom on days when students are giving presentations or sharing projects. Working parents can use Skype or Google Hangouts to visit virtually.

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