Regardless of what platform you prefer, educators have to find a way to disseminate information. I know many districts and even individual teachers use websites. These make nice platforms for individuals seeking information. But let’s face it, we live in a very busy world where it is sometimes an extra step to go check out a website to stay informed. In the wake of social media, many have turned to Twitter as a means to provide information. I know many groups this works well for, and use it myself as a class sponsor seeking to get information to the masses (senior students).
I have also seen Remind 101 used prolifically with groups. Our counseling office has a Remind each graduating class can sign up to follow, we’ve created one for our senior parents to stay informed, even my community service class and church youth group use Remind as an excellent platform for information. It has great features that allows the owner to make announcements and the recipients can even respond individually back to the account. You have choices such as a group announcement, group conversation (where you can specify recipients within the larger group) or individual message. Once you determine who the message is going to, you can then add a photo, attach a file or record a voice clip. Remind can easily be set up using an email or phone number and gives the option between text messages or using the app. Another great feature is that you can share ownership with more than one person, so an organization can allow multiple people to send announcements.
Some elementary school teachers in my district also use Class Dojo and Bloomz as a way to communicate with parents. I’ve really enjoyed the messages I get about my son’s 2nd grade class via Bloomz. His teacher can post an update on something that happened in class that day, complete with a picture that all the parents can see, send a calendar reminder for upcoming dates such as Spirit Nights and conferences, ask for help with a Signup feature, post pictures to an album or allow parents to see their own child’s progress on a daily basis. For the kids, they have a fun feature like an egg they are trying to hatch. In class, each time they do something positive like clean up their area, participate in an activity, remain on task, etc., they can see points added as additional “cracks” appear on their eggs. When enough points accumulate, the egg hatches, allowing for an opportunity to further praise the child for whatever goal has been met. I cannot tell you how excited my 7-year-old is to work towards that goal and how great it is for me as a parent to track that progress alongside him.
Digital communication certainly offers great tools for everyone involved to stay in the know! Find one that is the right fit for your group.