3 Free Web Tools Every Teacher Should Use
Organization and communication are essential to being a successful teacher with a smooth functioning classroom while creating positive parental involvement. What better way to manage your classroom than to get on board and see how internet tools open the lines of communication and offer the “power to engage” students and parents in classroom activities?
Networking has a huge amount of potential in the classroom and can revolutionize the way teachers, students and parents communicate. With the right technology in hand, keeping connected can be convenient, and dare we say fun!
To develop successful partnerships with your students and parents, try the following three-step approach:
Blog, Blog, Blog Away
A Blog is basically an online journal. In addition to the usefulness and convenience of blogging, teachers can extend their thoughts and lessons well beyond the four walls of their classroom. The possibilities for using blogging in education are endless. Updated blogs with plenty of useful content have become incredibly useful tools for students and provides parents insight into what’s going on in the classroom. Parents always value an open exchange of information.
- Create discussions about daily events
- Present learning plans
- Announce upcoming activities
- Post projects and pictures
Be a Social Butterfly
In case you live under a rock, Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service. But did you know it is an incredibly effective tool to incorporate in your classroom? Create a classroom account and encourage your students and parents to follow. It is very convenient to dash out very short notes (140 characters max) and the immediacy of the messages helps the students and parents feel like more of a community. It is a way for everyone to become involved in discussions about various class topics as well as keeping parents up-to-date and informed.
- provide updates about new developments
- Classroom Reminders
- Recaps of daily lessons
- Provide a steady stream of information about topics of interest, including links to websites and resources
- Streamline questions and emails
Be A Sign Up Genius
Organize your classroom activities in a snap! Whether you need a classroom volunteer sign up sheet, or if you're organizing a class supply list, snack schedule form or class holiday party sign up, you can create super-easy online sign up forms. Look for great-looking templates and features like e-mail reminders. You’ll save time and manage your class activities without tons of phone calls, lots of emails, or pen and paper scheduling. SignUpGenius.com is a great time saving tool to increase your parent participation and keep your volunteers connected.
- Classroom supplies or donation requests
- Recruit and schedule parent volunteers
- Manage field trip sign ups
- Schedule parent/teacher conferences
Whatever methods you use, the best thing you can do is find the most effective way to communicate your thoughts, ideas and needs and find a way to incorporate technology as a tool to increase student achievement and parental involvement.