Common Sense

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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 alike.

Looking for more tips on collaborating with parents? Check out our resources for powering up your parent-teacher communication.

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Messaging & Announcements

ParentSquare

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.

TalkingPoints

Basic multilingual texting tool enhances school-to-home communication

Bottom line: Easy-to-use tool for supporting communication and engagement with families in any of 20 languages.

ClassDojo

Handy management and messaging tool helps recognize, reward students

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

Bloomz

Full-featured parent-teacher communication platform

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

ClassTag

Flexible user-friendly tool gets parents and teachers in sync

Bottom line: A fabulous way to coordinate the little sign-ups that make a big difference.

Remind

Teachers' text reminders give students -- and parents -- a reason to check their phones

Bottom line: Well-designed, widespread messaging tool can keep students and families connected with their schools -- provided they have access.

Athena's Workshop

Texting platform for students, parents, has extra classroom features

Bottom line: With creative use, this robust platform could help close the gap between in- and out-of-classroom learning.

Twitter

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

Sesame

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: Students can showcase their work in text, pictures, videos, and more.

FreshGrade

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

Bottom line: Multimedia documentation tools help communicate learning and expand assessment, and the addition of a gradebook sets this tool apart; still, student experience could use some polish.

Bulb

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

Edublogs

Customizable classroom blogs get students writing and collaborating

Bottom line: This rich and safe blogging tool makes it easy for teachers and students to extend the classroom into a wider community.

Weebly

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.

Blogger

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 customizable templates

Bottom line: With a few clicks, kids can design and populate a unique website, but customization requires multiple layers of directions.

WordPress

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.

Get tips for using these tools in the classroom

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