Why having a way to connect is important
One of the most important tasks for educators today is to find ways to be accessible to students. We want to build and foster a community of support, share information, and be available to our students. Developing a reliable way to communicate is critical for student success. While there are many traditional options available, ranging from posts on a class website, an email or even making a phone call home, educators need to be more accessible and have a way to exchange information in a timely manner.
With so many digital options available to choose from, those traditional methods of communicating have been converted into a much faster means of sharing information. Depending on the type of communication that you want to have for your classroom and parents, there are many possibilities to choose from. It simply takes figuring out what you hope to accomplish and to do better through this new method of communicating.
Why use Class Updates?
A few years ago, I started noticing what I refer to as a “disconnect.” When students were absent from class, had forgotten assignments at school, or did not understand the homework, it negatively impacted their opportunities for learning. I did not want the opportunity for learning to be lost due to a lack of communication and availability. I held myself responsible for finding a way to remedy the disconnect and find a way to be more available for students and for students to access class resources when they needed.
Class Updates, a student and teacher communication tool, offers a lot of ways to create more of a connection between students and teachers. When I first started using a messaging app, I only used it to send reminders to students and for students to be able to ask me a question. However, with Class Updates, there are some great features that enhance the learning experience and facilitate a better connection and method of communicating.
Some of the unique features of Class Updates include:
- User Profiles — include a profile pic, bio, and social media links
- Class/Teaching Schedule — set up your daily schedule, including start and end times
- Class/Group Calendar for important reminders/events/meetings — easy to set up a calendar to share with students
- Group Chat/Communication — message the entire class and facilitate conversations beyond the class period,
- In-app Messaging/Chat (individual to individual),
- Access to help when students need it — Teachers can be emailed directly from the app.
Students have shared how beneficial having tools like Class Updates is for asking questions, receiving reminders, and knowing when tests, homework and other events are coming up in class. You know something is working when the students tell you how helpful something is, especially by having the ability to ask questions and receive help when they need, which is often beyond the class period.
Some ideas for using Class Updates
-Field Trips are easier with a messaging tool
– Send reminders of assignments and upcoming tests and quizzes
– Announce a change in schedule
– Engage students in a group conversation after class ends
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on Twitter @rdene915. Remember to sign up and try it, Class Updates is free for everyone. Sign up for free here for iOS and here for Android.