App review by Marianne Rogowski, Common Sense Education | Updated April 2021
Bloomz
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Bloomz

Full-featured school-to-home communication platform delivers with style

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Learning rating
Community rating
Based on 18 reviews
Privacy rating
69%| Warning Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Grades
K–12
Subjects & Skills
Communication & Collaboration

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Pros: Opportunities to communicate and interact in a multitude of ways mean that teachers can easily connect with students and families.

Cons: The number of features could prove overwhelming, and there are leads to paid features on the teacher platform.

Bottom Line: This multifunctional platform connects families, teachers, and students with a ton of features.

On the student-facing side, Bloomz can help teachers manage assignments, communication, student health, and social and emotional learning. Options for posting assignments, activities, and reminders include options to share files, photos, videos, and text. Have older students check their own behavior in the behavior management and reporting feature to encourage self-regulation. Add consistently to the photo albums and the behavioral management system so that students can snag that information and place it in their portfolio.

On the home-facing side, Bloomz is a great choice for facilitating organization of activities such as conferences or volunteer programs, as well as for giving families a glimpse into everyday classroom happenings. Use the options to communicate, whether through posts, photos, videos, or individual or group messaging. The reminder feature is especially helpful since it's easy for information to get lost in the feed. Anyone who misses a post can still get reminders for upcoming events, due dates, and deadlines. This is a bonus for busy families who don't have time to read every post but still want to be kept in the loop.

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Bloomz is a learning and behavior management app and website that provides teachers with a simple way to effectively communicate between school and home. From the dashboard, teachers can share information in a variety of ways by creating posts, events, activities, assignments, and photo albums. Parents can sign up to receive app, email, or text notifications, and teachers can control a wide variety of factors, including how parents and guardians communicate (for example, with each other or only with the teacher), what type of information goes out to families, and whether to communicate in a parent or guardian's preferred language. Note, however, that message translation is a premium feature. So, parents can set a preferred language and will receive class announcements and posts in that language, but direct messages from the teacher are translated only under the premium plan.

Among the site's many features are helpful tools such as those to schedule parent-teacher conferences, request and organize volunteer help, or send out visual updates of student activities. Photo, video, and file sharing, including through Google Drive or Classroom, mean that teachers don't have to spend a lot of time getting important information out to kids and their families. There's also a behavior management and reporting feature that allows teachers to award students points for good behavior and set class goals for tangible or intangible rewards. Finally, students can use the app or website to develop their own digital portfolio.

The sheer amount of features Bloomz offers is impressive. Kids can check the feed for updates, assignments, and fun class photos while monitoring their personal page for behavior points and items for their portfolios. Having everything in one place makes it easier for teachers who want to keep families in the loop about what students are doing, how they're performing, and how they can be more involved. In terms of connecting families to schools, Bloomz provides a great deal of functionality and interactivity. The behavior tracking tool, if used mindfully and not punitively, can teach kids the value of teamwork and cooperation toward group goals as they work on their own personal behavioral goals. Bloomz also offers students the ability to develop organizational skills and enhance their digital portfolio by reflecting on behavioral goals and class activities, uploading digital work, and looking through class photos. 

The biggest downside is the upselling: Teachers will encounter features that, when clicked on, lead them to an opportunity to upgrade. And the fact that the message translation feature is only a part of the premium plan really hinders targeted communication to parents who might be reluctant to come to the school campus. Also, the sheer amount that the platform covers might work great for communities with very tech-savvy teachers and parents, but it could be a bit overwhelming for adults who don't feel as confident with technology. In those cases, trying to house everything in one place could ultimately be too much. So, depending on your school and classroom community, Bloomz may cover everything you need and be an all-encompassing solution.

Overall Rating

Engagement

It has tons of customization options and an appealing interface, but some less tech-savvy users might encounter a learning curve.

Pedagogy

Assignments, behavior, and portfolios all add value to the proven benefits of the connection between home and school.

Support

Teachers can communicate with individuals or groups of students. Tons of support options include video tutorials, a translation feature for non-English-speaking families, and a helpful blog.


Common Sense reviewer
Marianne Rogowski Instructional Technology Facilitator

Community Rating

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Featured review by
Nurturing L. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Parent-Teacher connectedness
Teacher can share assignments, post videos and monitor progresses with a virtual portfolio. All of this benefits both teachers and parents by showing a child's learning progression through pictures, videos and work. The app also has a behavior monitoring option as well. The greatest advantage to using this app is the ease of communication between parents and teachers. I highly recommend this app for any classroom.
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Data Safety
How safe is this product?
Unclear whether this product supports interactions between trusted users and/or students.
Unclear whether users can interact with untrusted users, including strangers and/or adults.
Unclear whether profile information is shared for social interactions.
Data Rights
What rights do I have to the data?
Users can create or upload content.
Users retain ownership of their data.
Processes to access and review user data are available.
Ads & Tracking
Are there advertisements or tracking?
Data are shared for third-party advertising and/or marketing.
Traditional or contextual advertisements are displayed.
Behavioral or targeted advertising is displayed.

Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.

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