Common Sense


Apps and Websites for Improving Parent-Teacher Communication

Abrupt phone calls, forgotten emails, and stressful parent-teacher conferences are some of the more familiar ways to connect with parents, but not necessarily the most productive. These apps and websites provide instant, practical, and regular communication tools to encourage active engagement between students, teachers, and parents.

Want to know what our favorite messaging app is for families and teachers? You should check out our article.

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Top Picks


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Messaging & Announcements


Friendly, free tool for school-to-home communication facilitates connection

Bottom line: This versatile platform offers lots of possibilities for classroom management and keeping caregivers in the loop if teachers create meaningful posts and interactions.


Share files, photos, videos with simple caregiver communication platform

Bottom line: A simple, practical tool for fostering communication between home and school.

LivingTree Engage

Home-school messaging best for organizing events, simple communication

Bottom line: This free tool has the basic pieces of a group messaging platform but lacks some fancier bells and whistles.


Versatile communication tool fosters parent engagement and involvement

Bottom line: A solid, comprehensive way to help schools streamline communication between school staff and families.


Messaging platform offers tight focus on school-to-home connection

Bottom line: Well-designed, highly effective messaging tool delivers on its promise to connect home and school.

Common Sense Selection


Multilingual texting tool enhances school-to-home communication

Bottom line: Easy-to-use tool for supporting communication and engagement with families in 100+ languages.

Common Sense Selection


Exemplar bridge between home and school also aids learning

Bottom line: When used thoughtfully, ClassDojo can help teachers and families support students' growth through goal-setting, reflection, and celebration.


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

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


Flexible, user-friendly tool gets teachers and families in sync

Bottom line: Practical communication options allow teachers to effectively communicate classroom happenings and needs to families.


Smart classroom tool if used with care; priceless for PLNs

Bottom line: Twitter offers something for everyone: information, resources, and an easy way to connect with just about anyone.

Portfolio Tools

Common Sense Selection


Versatile digital portfolio appeals to teachers, students, and parents

Bottom line: A powerful multimedia learning and communication tool that demonstrates student progress over time.

FreshGrade Classic

A fresh way to capture, document, and share student learning

Bottom line: Multimedia documentation tools and a customizable grade book help communicate learning and expand both summative and formative assessment.


Slick portfolio tool has cool features, limited feedback options

Bottom line: A neat tool for publishing online, possibly better suited to teacher content creation than student publishing.

Websites & Class Blogs


Encourage student expression and maintain digital portfolios with easy-to-use blog creator

Bottom line: Edublogs is a fantastic platform for any teacher committed to providing consistent opportunities for creation and reflection.


Easy-to-use website design tool lets teachers monitor kids' creations

Bottom line: Teacher-monitored sites and drag-and-drop elements make attractive website design safe and accessible for students.


Versatile, easy-to-use blog platform best used with teacher guidance

Bottom line: With teacher support and guidance, motivated kids will find this easy-to-use and eye-catching platform a fun place to share their voices.

Google Sites

Make your own website with easy, intuitive drag-and-drop features

Bottom line: With a few clicks, students can design a basic but custom, responsive website that allows for easy collaboration with their peers.

Get tips for using these tools in the classroom

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