Review by Stephanie Trautman, Common Sense Education | Updated March 2017
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Bloomz

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Full-featured parent-teacher communication platform

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Communication & Collaboration

Subjects
N/A
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
K-12
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (10 Reviews)

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Pros: Lots of functionality and options make Bloomz simple and effective.

Cons: Parent social network could be frustrating for teachers to manage.

Bottom Line: Provided all parents have access, Bloomz can be a great way to get them involved.

In terms of learning, Bloomz's biggest advantage is that it makes it easier for teachers to keep parents in the loop as to what students are doing, how they're performing, and how parents can be more involved. Teachers can use Bloomz to facilitate organization of activities such as conferences and volunteer programs. They can also use Bloomz to effectively communicate information between school and home, eliminating the need for newsletters, agendas, and the like.

Teachers can also have students check their own behavior in the behavior management and reporting feature. If a teacher adds consistently to the photo albums and behavioral management system, it could be simple for students to snag that information and place it in their portfolio.

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Bloomz, like many two-way parent-teacher communication apps, provides teachers a simple way to effectively communicate with classroom parents. Parents can sign up to receive app, email, or text notifications (although you may have to do a bit of digging to find out how to sign up for texting). Teachers have access to a central website and can control a wide variety of factors, from how parents communicate (for example, with each other or only with the teacher) to what type of information goes out to families.

Among Bloomz's many features are helpful tools such as those to schedule parent-teacher conferences, request and organize volunteer help, or send out photo updates of student activities. Teachers can effectively eliminate the need to dig up contact information, make phone calls, and send emails to parents. A behavior management and reporting option awards students points for good behavior -- they can watch a flower grow on their page as the points grow. Students can also use the app or website to develop their own digital portfolio.

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Bloomz provides a great deal of functionality and interactivity for maintaining a valuable, robust school-home connection. Parents and students can view a calendar, behavior, sign up for conferences or volunteer work, and view photos from both the website or an app. Students will enjoy seeing the petals bloom as they view behavior points blossom into a flower. This reward system may work for some, while others may need more.

Bloomz offers students the ability to develop and enhance their digital portfolio by reflecting on behavioral goals, class activities, and looking through shared photos. Outside sources like writing samples, artwork, projects, and more would have to help fill up the portfolio, but Bloomz offers a good starting place for building one.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Parents will appreciate being kept in the loop, and teachers can get them more engaged through volunteer sign-ups, conference management, and messaging.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Parent and teacher communication is key to student success, and Bloomz provides an effective way to maintain that link. Students can check behavior and create portfolios of their work.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Helpful and easy to navigate with a FAQ, getting-started PDFs, and a question database for any issues that might arise. Great video tutorials and a translation feature for non-English speaking families.


Common Sense Reviewer
Stephanie Trautman Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 10 reviews) (10 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Stephanie K. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Barack Obama Elementary
Upper Marlboro, MD
Behavior management, parent communication, and sign-up sheets, all rolled into one app!

Overall, I really enjoy Bloomz as a teaching tool. While I did score the app low on pedagogy, I feel this is because it is more of a classroom management tool than a critical thinking tool. I have used this application for about three weeks in my kindergarten class and have found the students more engaged in managing their behavior and earning points by participating that in the past with comparable apps. While it does take a while to set up (adding students, adding/inviting parents to join, setting behaviors, etc.), the end product is well worth it. It helps manage behavior so that I can spend more time focusing on teaching and it encourages the students to participate and work hard to meet their goal.

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