Review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated January 2018

Homeroom

Share photos, videos, and posts privately with class parents

Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
K-12
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Pros: Navigating the interface is intuitive, and set-up is quick.

Cons: Other tools offer more versatility specifically for classroom use.

Bottom Line: Easy-to-use photo sharing tool offers limited classroom options.

Teachers can use Homeroom to give parents a glimpse into the fun and learning happening in their classrooms every day. All of the posts in the album are visible to all group members, so posting individual student work wouldn't be as smooth as it is with other tools, like SeeSaw. Teachers could appoint a journalist-for-the-day or week to document class work and activities in videos and photos and share them through Homeroom. Teachers could also use the tool for regular parent communication, posting announcements in addition to sharing photos and videos.

High school teachers might find it a safe option for a safer, more regulated class social medium, but the appeal is mostly for parents.

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Teachers can post text, videos, and photos to the Homeroom feed. Photos can also be viewed in a gallery-format. Setting up takes a few steps -- naming the album and inviting users by email. There's also an option to invite a batch of users using a link. The default setting allows any member to post, but teachers can control that in settings, restricting posts to the admin and allowing parents to comment and like posts. Posts can be deleted but not edited. There's no option for photo cropping or editing in the tool, either.

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Apps are available for both iOS and Android, so teachers and parents can connect across platforms. There are no options for private messaging. The privacy policy and terms of service specify the tool is for users 13 and older, so use is limited to parents only of younger students. The monetizing focus of the site seems to be the option to create a photo book using pictures posted to the album.

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Overall Rating

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

The interactive stream of posts and photos engage family members in class activities. Students will be excited to share what they're doing in class and read comments from group members.

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

Homeroom allows teachers to share with families the fun and learning happening inside their classrooms every day, but the tool doesn't offer much beyond sharing posts and photos.

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

Setting up Homeroom is intuitive, especially to users of other social media platforms. Help section is in a Q&A format but is also searchable.


Common Sense Reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

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