Social media tools can help break the barriers set by the walls of schools. As the flipped classrooms concept has grown popular, receiving more supporters each day, many have been noticing the need to increase the level of communication between students and teachers. Moreover, parents should also be included in this circle of communication to keep track of their children, evaluate the teaching methods and thus being able to involve themselves in the education of their young ones.
Learning and communicating outside the school hours with technology aid is a modern adaptation of education that has showed great results. It upgrades both the learning process and the relationship between students, educators and parents.
The most popular social networks – Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – are adapted by teachers for educational purposes. Although these social platforms are known worldwide, they still carry a degree of mistrust for some parents and educational institutions. Fortunately the choices are not that restricted, there are other web tools that provide school-specific tools that are just as powerful in facilitating the communication inside the student-teacher-parent triangle. Here are a few favorites:
Wikispaces Classroom is social writing platform for education where students can share their thoughts, images, texts, publish projects, discuss assignments and express themselves freely. Sharing this space between colleagues, teachers and parents can bring them closer. The access to their content can be restricted so that only their classmates see the posts. It’s a controlled channel of communication, perfect for students of any age.
Edmodo is a popular learning environment where discussions form class can be continued, student progress is measured and new personalized easy-to-use apps are added to improve learning. Parents awareness is raised so that they can observe children performance, discuss with teachers and see all lessons plans, uploaded by teachers.
A highly adaptable online form builder. 123ContactForm has forms that can be published on various platforms, shared and customized. Student forms are an interactive way of learning through digital media. Moreover you can use educator forms to receive feedback for class activities or even teacher evaluation through parents forms. Integrated with friendly user experience, this app offers a proper solution to facilitate communication.
Unlike other blog-hosting platforms (Blogger, WordPress.com, etc.), Edublogs is specifically created for education. Education blogs are an ideal practice for encouraging creativity, a good way to know your kid and a better method to develop writing skills. The blogs are ad-free and safe for students. It gives control to teachers and an opportunity to chat with classmates on given or chosen subjects to increase class communication.
WDWDT (we profiled it a couple weeks ago here) custom messaging system for students, parents and teachers. A meeting place in the digital media, where parents can speak with their children easily and permanently know their whereabouts. Teachers can express their concerns or even send reminders to students in a personal manner.
The benefits of these tools are not only for the teacher-parent communication, but also for students, to boost their creativity and create a bond between them. Parents win from using these apps because they raise the involvement in education and get to truly be close to their children.