Klassly: Choosing the Right Communication Platform

Choosing the Right Communication Platform

As educators, we are fortunate that there are many digital communication tools available to help us foster a meaningful home-to-school connection. With so many options, it is important to choose one that offers quality resources, centralizes school information, and which helps educators create a virtual space for students and families to be part of the learning community.

As we have learned even more in this past year, being able to keep families and the school community informed about what is happening inside the classroom, in real-time, strengthens that connection between home and school. At the school and district level, it is essential to implement a comprehensive, consistent and efficient program that meets the needs and preferences of each of its members. Greater family engagement, positively impacts student growth and provides a stronger support system.

Choosing the best platform depends on your specific needs. Teachers need to complete important tasks such as sending class updates, asking for volunteers, scheduling conferences and school events, sharing files and photos, and communicating information to families and more. Administrators have access to the same resources as well as important data to better understand how well communication is happening in their school community.

As we work through transitioning learning environments and challenges, it is critical to have a robust platform that enables schools to better support parents, families and student learning. Especially today, we need access to consistent and reliable communication between home and school to avoid potential disconnect between parental involvement and teacher communication. So which do we choose?

There are two communication platforms that I have been asked about recently: Klassly and ClassDojo. Here are some key features:

Features

Klassly

ClassDojo

Safety Guidelines

COPPA, FERPA and GDPR compliant, parent authorization form. Also has extra verification steps (3 steps to join a class + authorization form of parents)

COPPA, FERPA and GDPR compliant

Parent Engagement

Created for parents to actively participate

Created for parents to observe and stay informed

Language Translation

120+ languages and with voiceover for visually impaired

35+ languages

Private Chat

Yes

Yes

Group Chat

Yes

Yes

Video Conferencing

Yes

No

Contacting the teacher

Functions like social media with reactions and comments on posts – Parent DM requests must be approved by teachers

Quiet hours

Calendar scheduling and meetings

Teachers can post availability or parents can request appointments. Parents can choose a time slot for in-person or videoconferencing.

Not available within the app

Attendance

Yes

Yes

Homework assignments

Assigned and graded. Can include documents, photos, video and voice.

Assigned but not graded within ClassDojo

School Management/school wide announcements

Principals can broadcast posts in each class.

Administrators have Klassboard.

Parents have to check class and school accounts as it is not a centralized system.

Community Building

Parents can comment and see each others’ reactions to posts

or privately connect to organize events. No numbers are exchanged

Parents can comment and see each others’ reactions to post

Media sharing

Similar to Facebook. Multiple multimedia posts (prime) but free multi attachment posts.

Can post multiple pics but not a mix of video, pictures, and documents. Send newsletters

Teacher accounts per class

Multiple per class, as per U.S.

Multiple per class, as per U.S.

Notifications/Quiet time

Teachers set schedules, manage notifications, show availability. Full management

Turn notifications on/off.

Cost

Free with premium features

Free with paid content features

Klassly

What makes Klassly stand out? Klassly is available for classroom, district- or school- wide implementation. School administrators, teachers and parents, whether tech-savvy or not, will find it easy to navigate Klassly and Klassboard to exchange information and carry out essential daily tasks in one centralized space. These tools enable schools to establish consistency in communications which leads to greater family engagement by providing all essential resources in one centralized digital space.

For school and district administrators, relevant data is easier to access through Klassboard. Administrators can link teacher Klassly classes in one space and broadcast messages to the entire community instantly, which helps to foster a strong and vital partnership between school and families. Messages can include audio and video, documents, information about school events as well as polls. Reports show attendance, parent engagement, reach and deliverability of messages, all which helps to promote better communication with families.

Parents have access through push notifications and can quickly learn about student attendance with real-time interactions and feel more connected through timeline posts such as photos from a field-trip or a class presentation, for example. Parents can also contact the teacher about an absence or late arrival.

Klassly offers video conferencing which makes it easier to communicate with families and share the learning happening in the classroom. Klassly, is a comprehensive tool that connects families with their child’s school and the district, all within one centralized space. Schools are better able to provide a more consistent, effective and reliable way to facilitate higher family engagement and better communication between school and home.

ClassDojo is a communication app for teachers, parents, and students. While ClassDojo was initially used more for promoting a positive classroom culture and behavior management, it has evolved into a more expansive platform for teachers to communicate with families.

Students are able to create digital portfolios through the app and include photos and other artifacts of their work. Parents are connected with the learning that is happening in the classroom through messaging features within ClassDojo and teachers can post announcements, send updates, share photos or videos with parents instantly through the messaging of ClassDojo. (These are also features of Klassly). Only teachers can post on the class story but parents can react with hearts to show appreciation. (In Klassly, there are more reactions and parents can give responses that are private and only seen by the teacher or give a signature when the teachers request it in their posts).

In ClassDojo, teachers can create assignments, share lessons, schedule events, post photos and see if messages have been seen and read. Messages can be instantly translated into more than 35 languages and families can set preferences for notifications. Teachers can also set quiet hours to pause notifications and let families know that they are unavailable.

ClassDojo offers the following tools within its app: Classroom Directions, Random Group Generator, Classroom Music, Classroom Noise, Think-Pair-Share, Random Student Selector, Classroom Timer, and Morning Meeting App.

ClassDojo has “Dojocast”which enables the projection of each app from the phone to the smartboard in the classroom.

ClassDojo is available for free and with premium options. It is used in grades K-12 and works on all devices so accessibility does not rely on having a specific phone or computer.

Similarities and differences between ClassDojo and Klassly

Both platforms offer a lot of options, and it may come down to personal preference, school decision or possibly cost involved in using these tools. With both ClassDojo and Klassly, messages are exchanged through two-way communication using any device to share classroom updates, important reminders, files and media which helps to keep families informed of classroom events and learning activities. In both platforms, events can be created which also includes permission slips, sign-up sheets, and the ability to track RSVPS.

So why should schools choose either one of these platforms?

Klassly is a robust platform. For teachers, it integrates features such as a messaging app, calendar, event planner and more into one safe and user-friendly platform. It enables teachers and parents to communicate through messaging instantly, privately, and as often as needed. For principals, it has a school management platform (Klassboard), which is not available through ClassDojo.

Klassly is a tool that I have used and recommended often because it provides many features that save time and promote more family engagement. Klassly facilitates timely, relevant and secure communication (extra verification steps) between home and school through push notifications with real-time interactions. Klassly takes multiple tasks and communicative needs (messaging, attendance and gradebook portal, event planner, calendar) that schools and teachers are currently using and unifies them in one easy to use and widely accessible platform.

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