Hi All,

I am curious to know about what software are the schools using to connect with parents. I still get announcements on printed paper in backpack of my kid - which is neither cost effective nor safe.

Are there software that schools are using currently? And what would schools/teachers/principals look for in such software?

Also, is there is term that defines such a software, I have had many unsuccessful attempts on google to find any.

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ePals SchoolMail is used by many dstricts that have multilingual parents. The email translates to 35 languages. So the teacher can send home an email and if the parent doesn't read English very well, the email can be translated. The parent can write back in the native tongue and then the teacher can translate it. The majority of use in the US is for Spanish-speaking parents in Texas, Florida, California but lots of other places too.

Some schools are using blogs or websites to post information for parents. I did a blog for my children's middle school PTSA about 10 years ago, and people thought that was really amazing back then. ePals has a SchoolBlog (also free) and some teachers use that as a way to communicate with parents.
The latest thing I have seen is teachers tweeting assignments. Something like this: Chemistry read p. 114-20, answer questions on 121, prep for lab.
It's easy enough for parents to get a Twitter account and it doesn't take a lot of work for the teacher to send a tweet of 140 characters.
There are still lots of companies offering voicemail and ways to "auto-call" parents to send infromation, such as "School is closed tomorrow because xxx."
Share what you learn!
- Rita Oates, formerly ed tech director, Miami-Dade Schools (FL)
Thanks, I did not know about twitter being used for sending assignment. It's great that latest tech is being adopted, I guess it also speaks to the simplicity.

Thanks for sharing
I believe a different spin on this question might be, "what are schools doing to connect with families and communities?" The work of Joyce Epstein transformed the way I thought about communicating with others about children. I think our actions should include informing grandparents, the community doctors or social workers, public libraries ... and so on. We need to widen our net when we think about servicing/communicating with the communities our school sites preside within.
Very interesting Meredith, I have not read about Joyce, but found this - http://www.csos.jhu.edu/P2000/center.htm now. Thanks
If anyone here has a little curiosity about the answer to the question from Asia (especially from S. Korea), let me reply to the question. I'm a teacher in one of the common high school in Korea.

My school mainly uses a telephone to communicate with the family of each student.

When we have something to tell every family of the students at once, we send a text message on the cell phone of one of the parents or family members of the students.
(Recently we've sent a text message about warning swine flu.)

Although almost every school in S.Korea has its own school homepage, updating any new information is very rare.

E-mail or any other web 2.0 tools are not yet used officially.
Hi, Seyoung.

All teachers communicate by phone ! Are you planning to use some tech? Some software?

I am attending University of California, Davis and the myucdavis website all students use lets us see the classes we are taking, the assignments, the grades you have received on the assignments, e-mails from the professors, names and e-mails of other students in your classes, and many other things which allows the students to be up-to-date with everything related to school. All my friends in colleges have a similar method of communication, but I think such applications should be provided not only to college students but also to elementary and high school students as well.
Our school is prep to year 12. Parents are kept informed via a printed weekly community newsletter which goes home with the oldest child in the family. However, more parents are opting to have the newsletter emailed to them. Many staff also maintain and update our school blog which we encourage parents to read. The weekly newsletters are attached via amanda@the office blog. In time, we are hoping that parents will comment and respond back on the blog posts, but it all takes time.
I agree that it will take time to make it happen. if seen in my condition, the school environment is located in the village. computer that has Internet at home again is not an interest to parents. However in recent years, students have actively expressed about ICT. I initially need to force students to open an email account. There are a few things related to teaching that I have to do through email. My goals to encourage them to use technology. I still need time to extended to the parents.
Hello Hamden I have just seen your wonderful video using online learning through skype. Your classroom looks really well equipped with computers etc. Your school looks really well resourced. Yet, your students dont have computers at home, which is very interesting.
Thanks for your attention. Actually it's a school computer lab. I maintain two computer labs. Well, like many people said, do not judge a book by it's cover. each laboratory should has 20 computers. sad to say only one laboratory works. For the other laboratory, all 20 computers has broken out. as you see in the video, that only laboratory that works. It's difficult for me to maintance the labs.

Is the barrier to adoption financial or more that family culture is not very tech oriented?



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