There’s An App For That
Smartphones can help schools, parents and students to better communication.
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With so much happening during a typical day, it’s easy for some details to be forgotten along the way. These apps can help.
They’re a calendar resource to remember when a class assignment is due or the next holiday break gets underway. Apps can also provide a direct line to teachers, an archive of previous work, even a quick way to check to see what’s being served at lunch today.
Privacy and security are obviously front of mind in this situation, and these apps follow through with security codes for signup. These codes keep others from gaining access to any personal information.
Here’s a look at some of the most popular school-related apps, which offer various customization or integration options to increase engagement for all of the stakeholders in education.
Bloomz is a streamlined app that helps teachers quickly and easily contact parents on everything from grades, classroom activities or future deadlines. Announcements can be set to remain visible for a specified time, with alert overrides for urgently sent messages. Teachers can also confidentially send grades or other information electronically. There’s a calendar syncing function for parents, as well as volunteer and donation signup capabilities and student behavior tracking.
Think of Class Dojo as a social-media equivalent app for schools and families. Teachers add their students to the app, and parents enter with a special access code. That gives them access to teacher-posted information like photos, scheduling information and videos.
Teachers can send private messages to individual parents, who in turn can comment on and like teacher posts. Homework assignments, class and other school announcements can also find a home on Class Dojo. The app is adaptable for older students, who can create their own account to create an online portfolio of their work.
This app’s best-remembered marketing slogan says it all: “School communication shouldn’t be so hard.” Remind allows students to work together virtually, teachers to post PDFs, photos and voice files, and parents to coordinate with other parents on school volunteer projects. That’s quite an improvement over the jumble of handouts kids used to be send home with to inform mom and dad about parent-teacher conferences, picture day or various fundraisers. Teachers can even set important messages to be sent later as a reminder.