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Let Tech Handle Your Biggest Challenge: Parent Communication


Communication between parents and teachers is key to the success of the student. A strong parent-teacher partnership encourages important feedback about the child’s academic performance, and opens the door to two-way conversations about how best to optimize the learning experience. Good communication enriches a child’s time in the classroom, but it’s not always easy to achieve. In fact, many teachers say that communicating with parents is one of the greatest challenges of the job.


Technology can improve how teachers and schools connect with parents, offering seamless and intuitive solutions for meaningful interactions.


Streamline the Communication Chain


Research shows that the amount of parent involvement in student learning can accurately predict the child’s academic success. Unfortunately, the traditional communication chain from parent to teacher to student can be time-consuming and inefficient. Not only does it waste the teacher’s time – it isn’t always the best way to improve the student’s performance. In fact, the more time teachers have to spend answering parent questions via phone or email, the less time and energy they have to spend on the students.


Technology offers smart solutions for streamlining communication chains in education, eliminating wasted time and improving the experience for all involved. Digital solutions such as automated email blasts, online parent portals, and programmed billing takes these cumbersome tasks out of the teachers’ hands. It gives parents a tool to get answers in real time without interrupting the teachers’ efforts.


The right software program at a school can replace the traditional communication chain with something much more proficient, simple to use, and beneficial for teacher, parent, and student. Web-based communication solutions enable parents to get answers to many questions without asking the teacher. This saves time and allows teachers to focus on teaching.


Bridge the Gap Between Home and School Communication


Engaging parents isn’t always easy. While some parents jump at the chance to discuss student performance and outcomes with teachers, others do not have the time or cannot engage with teachers for other reasons. This can result in poorer outcomes for the student. Technology can end this struggle by bridging the sometimes-large gap between home and school.


A study from Pearson found that new technologies such as online grade books, electronic portfolios, and video conferencing have the potential to positively impact student learning. Digital technologies aimed at improving communication can grant immediate access to information for parents and teachers. Parents can instantly address issues and celebrate their children’s successes, without lag time or miscommunications such as getting a teacher’s voicemail box.


Convenient communication methods encourage parents to reach out more often, since it doesn’t pose a tedious task for busy parents. It also helps teachers quickly and easily address parent questions. The right communication technologies can make a teacher more productive, and help parents become more in tune with students’ learning experiences.


Grant 24/7 Access to Information


The age of “business hours only” communication is over – as is the age of teachers spending long nights trying to catch up on parent emails. Technology has solved the problem for parents and teachers by offering a simple way to keep in touch 24/7, anytime, anywhere. Parents can log into school portals from their phones while they wait at the drycleaners, and get immediate information about children’s attendance, grades, upcoming events, and more.


Apps and websites enable both parties to access information without time-consuming communication gaps, missed connections, and in-person meetings that are almost impossible to plan. Instead of grouping a semester’s worth of information into a single parent-teacher conference or PTA meeting, parents and teachers can engage in constant communication around the clock, right from their homes.


Parents can now access online calendars that teachers set up from anywhere, allowing them to schedule conferences or track student homework logs remotely. Technology gives parents a wealth of personalized, child-specific information at their fingertips without the need for constant teacher involvement. It saves both parties time and effort while still improving communication and the classroom experience.


Remove the Barriers to Education


Too many students have suffered scholastically because of gaps in communication between teachers and parents. Students thrive on a strong, healthy relationship between these two important people in their lives. One University of Nebraska study found that low-quality parent-teacher relationships led to social/behavioral problems in the student, and consequently lower performances in school. The study looked at student outcomes in the long term, and found that positive changes in the parent-teacher relationship resulted in improvement of student behaviors.


Poor student behavior is just one of many potential barriers to learning. Technology offers a simple, affordable, and almost universal way to break down these barriers and gain real-time access to students and parents. Schools and teachers can now play important roles in students’ daily lives without inconvenient conferences or ungainly communication efforts. Thanks to technology, barriers in communication, behaviors, and education are coming down.


Integrate Smart Communication Technologies


Digital tools have immense power to change the way teachers and parents communicate – ultimately changing the game for students around the world. Implementing the right technologies in school can streamline communication efforts, save time for both parties, encourage parent involvement, answer questions and concerns in real time, and bode well for everyone involved. It’s time to let technology transform the educational experience. It’s time to integrate smart web-based communication solutions in school.

Jeffrey Thomas is the President of ThomasKelly Software Associates. ThomasKelly specializes in cloud-based products, including EZChildTrack, for the education and social services domains. In his free time, Jeffrey enjoys spending time with friends and family, biking, and watching any Houston-related sports.

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Dr. Patricia Dickenson has taught grades K-9 she currently works with pre-service teacher candidates. She has three school aged children and loves to create curriculum.

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