Keeping parents up-to-date on what’s going on in the classroom can sometimes be difficult. Fortunately, there are many free tools on the web that can help teachers streamline the communication process and get parents the information they need. Here are 10 online tools that are free, helpful, and easy to use.
Edublogs – Created specifically for educators, Edublogs makes it easy for teachers to create free and fully customizable classroom blogs. Edublogs uses WordPress technology and provides technical support through their forums.
GroupTweet – GroupTweet is a unique Twitter application that can turn any Twitter account into a group communication hub that allows direct messages and group updates. Updates can be kept private with a protected profile.
Engrade – Used by 150,000+ teachers around the world, this useful suite of tools can keep parents up-to-date on assignments, grades, class events, and other important information. Engrade is private, free to use, and available to parents 24/7.
KeepandShare – KeepandShare is a free file sharing service that allows users to share files, slideshows, photos, online calendars, and other materials online. There is no software to install and all group members are automatically notified when a new file is added. KeepandShare also offers users complete control over who sees what within a group.
LearnCentral – This social network for education allows teachers to post learning content and host virtual meetings with two-way VoIP, multipoint video, an interactive whiteboard, application sharing, and other handy features.
Yugma – Yugma is a web conferencing and screen sharing service that works across multiple platforms. Teachers can use it to conduct free meetings with up to 20 attendees.
Phonevite – Phonevite is an award-winning web application that allows users to send free phone reminders and alerts in three easy steps. The app is a great for reminding parents about parent-teacher conferences and other special events.
Remember The Milk – Remember The Milk is a free, web-based task manager that works with Gmail, Google Calendar, Twitter, and other popular tools. Teachers can use it to share, send, and publish tasks, lists, and other information for parents.
Microsoft Office Online – Microsoft Office Online is a good place to find parent communication templates and forms. Some of the documents available for download include permission forms, progress reports, and parent message templates.
Education World – Education World also offers several useful templates for parent communication, including assignment notifications, conference reminders, permission slips, and progress reports. The templates can be edited, emailed, and printed.
This has been a guest post from education writer Karen Schweitzer. Karen is the About.com Guide to Business School. She also writes about online degrees for OnlineDegreePrograms.org.
Photo Credit: ChrisL – AK