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.

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Messaging & Announcements


Social media approach draws families into the daily classroom

Bottom line: Flexible, practical platform for sharing updates and information with families, creating positive communications.


Versatile communication tool fosters parent engagement and involvement

Bottom line: A convenient way to help schools streamline communication among administrators, support staff, teachers, and parents.


Teachers' text reminders keep students -- and parents -- up to speed

Bottom line: Well-designed, highly effective messaging tool has the potential to keep students and families connected with their schools.


Multilingual texting tool enhances school-to-home communication

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


Handy management and portfolio tool can promote student growth

Bottom line: With thoughtful implementation, it can help teachers and parents support students' growth through goal-setting, feedback, and celebration.


Full-featured parent-teacher communication platform

Bottom line: One-stop multi-tool for parents, teachers, and students.


Flexible user-friendly tool gets teachers and families in sync

Bottom line: Effective communication platform with practical options to meet classroom needs.


Parent communication and resource-sharing tool keeps families engaged

Bottom line: With a mindful onboarding process, Heard has great potential to be a go-to tool for parent involvement and community building.


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


Portfolio and communication tool makes formative assessment a snap

Bottom line: A useful way for teachers, students, and parents to monitor progress and demonstrate holistic evidence of learning.

Seesaw: The Learning Journal

Versatile digital portfolio appeals to teachers, students, and parents

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


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


If you want your students writing and sharing, Edublogs is the place to start.

Bottom line: Edublogs is a fantastic platform for any teacher committed to blogging as a tool for extending learning beyond the classroom.


Impressively easy-to-use website-creation tool

Bottom line: Helpfully walks students through each step of website creation, and teachers can control access and monitor progress.


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.


Inviting, customizable mobile blog platform with easy-to-use interface

Bottom line: Wordpress's app makes it easy to create and edit blog posts, manage comments, and view friends' blogs, and could be an indispensable tool for communication and collaboration if well-implemented.

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