Top Tools for Parent Communication

Top Tools for Parent Communication

Aug 14, 2013

WRITING HOME: Your school team wants to communicate more effectively with the ‘rents, and you’re wondering if there’s a good school-wide digital system that’s not a huge hassle to set up.

We asked a few leading edtech school coordinators for their parent-communication system recommendations. Here’s what we found:

  • ePals, Gaggle, or an LMS like Canvas are good options for giving parents a school inbox, and all are e-Ratable. Canvas especially has some great communication channel integration. (hat tip to Chris Liang Vergara of FirstLine Schools)
  • Edmodo works well if you want to blast messages to parents. It also allows for two-way communication. (hat tip to Greg Klein of the Rogers Foundation)
  • If you're school is using Office 365 for Education or Google Apps for Education, you're best bet is still to have parents set up their own personal email accounts. Don’t bother trying to set up parent emails for them with your school domain name--not only is it difficult, but it could pose legal problems if those addresses have your domain name in them and parents decide to send weird emails.

If you’re just looking for one-way, teacher-to-parent announcement system:

  • Remind101 has gotten lots of teacher love, and just released their iphone app.
  • For high school, Facebook groups are a good option. They can easily be kept private. Parents don't have to be "friends" with each other or with teachers to communicate within a Facebook group. To flip a common comparison on its head, you might say Facebook groups are Edmodo for high school (hat tip to Joe Ross of San Mateo County Board of Education).

Have you found an easy way to stay in digital touch with the 'rents? Drop us a line and let us know what's working for you.

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