With Back to School Night just around the corner, I wanted to share three quick tech tools that could be helpful in engaging parents and students.
Remind 101 is a free service that allows teachers to send one way text message updates to parents and students without the parent or teacher ever exchanging phone numbers. To sign up a parent texts a class code to your Remind101 phone number. Remind101 is a one way service so teachers can text parents but parents can not text you back. Remind101 also allows user to schedule out going text messages. This is a great service for reminding parents of important dates or last minute changes that occur in your classroom.
If you are creating any sort of online presentation for Back To School night and want to share it with parents this is the tool for you. Normally the URL for a Google Presentation or Prezi looks like this “https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1hHgxvV6iuW_iPjp7kIsLKVgwEpkhbalHAD1nFrhkeJM/pub?start=false&loop=false&delayms=3000#slide=id.gf411e84c_010“. Using Bit.ly you can take a long URL and assign it a custom short URL like “http://bit.ly/evernoteaug52013“. This is a great tool to use in your classroom as well if your students have a hard time copying down URLs exactly or if you are just looking to simplify the process. To use Bit.ly simply copy and paste your URL into the box that says “Paste a link here”. From there you can use the link Bit.ly assigns you or customize it based on your content.
A class website is a great way to keep parents informed of what’s going on in your classroom as well as allow students the opportunity to access classroom material outside of your classroom. The two services that I recommend using are Edublogs and Weebly. Both services are free and have easy to use interfaces. Your website does not have to be super crazy at first. Having a single page where parents and students can access your contact information, a copy of your syllabus, and a list of important links is a perfect way to start and can be done in a few minutes! If you are looking for some inspiration make sure to check out Ms. Pena’s Edublog and Ms. Spoto’s Weebly site.
Featured Image: Telephone by Esparta Palma