July 21, 2014

10 ways to organize classroom communication

July 21, 2014

Teachers often face more communication challenges than they can count—if they're not dealing with outdated contact information or trying to find out whether their handouts made it home, they're juggling three or four different communication tools to cover all the bases.The first step to more effective classroom communication is getting organized. Here are 10 ways you can simplify communication with Remind.

1. Minimize your paperwork.

Think of all the permission slips, forms, and notes that you send home—and that's not even counting take-home assignments and review sheets. Instead of dooming printouts to the bottom of a student backpacks, attach documents to your messages and send them directly to mobile phones. If students and parents need to fill anything out, they can send files right back.

2. Check to see if participants got your messages.

Text messages have a much higher chance of being read, but that won't help if they're not being delivered. You can check on the delivery status of every message and see who's viewing the attachments you send.

3. Schedule reminders in advance.

Save a step when you plan your lessons and schedule assignment and project reminders ahead of time. In addition to giving students an extra nudge, you won't have to think about these for the rest of the term—giving you time to focus on the things that come up.

4. Help students and families stay organized.

If participants get texts, all of your messages will come from the same randomly assigned phone number. If they're signed up for multiple classes, the app helps them keep all of their messages in a single place. (Plus, push notifications let them know whenever they get a message.)

5. Automatically collect contact information.

If you have phone numbers or email addresses for your students and parents, great! You can add them to your class. But if you have not-so-fond memories of chasing down busy parents for their contact information, you can always ask them to sign up for your class when it's convenient for them. Once they do, you're all set.

6. Give participants options that work for them.

Families don't need smartphones or even Internet access to use Remind—all they need to communicate is a mobile phone with texting capabilities. If they prefer a different notification method, they can log in with Remind.com or the app to manage their settings.

7. Provide a space for constructive communication.

Remind is built for education, which includes iKeepSafe certifications for COPPA, FERPA, and California Student Privacy. Everyone has access to resources and guidelines that help keep communication constructive and safe.

8. Group people into smaller conversations.

Not every message needs to go to your entire class. Start a conversation with a small group of up to 10 participants or send a direct message to just one person. You can always turn off replies when you're done.

9. Coordinate activities in a single place.

Coordinating field trips and other events can be a massive undertaking, especially when it comes to keeping track of all the moving pieces. Instead of sending home permission slips, creating rosters, collecting checks and cash, visiting the treasurer, and coordinating volunteers, take care of everything through Remind.

10. Personalize messages.

Communicating with students and families doesn't need to be time-consuming, frustrating, or ineffective. A simple, personal message can go a long way to making sure that all of your students have the opportunity to succeed.