30 useful communication apps for your school
Although it shouldn’t, communication is one of the things that can go wrong everywhere. Especially in a school environment, communication is very important, as it is crucial for good functioning.
In this blog post, I’m going to talk about the types of communication tools that exist to make communication easier in a school environment.
All these tools and apps are created for everyone who is related to school. I’ve classified these apps in 3 categories where you can use them the most:
- Communication tools for teachers and students
- Communcation tools for teachers and parents
- Communication tools for the school administration and fellow teachers
Communication tools for teachers and students
ClassPager lets teachers communicate with their students, by sending text messages from the teacher’s web-enabled device. This tool has two functions: you can send your students reminders for tasks, tests, …, and you can create polls.
The website and app Rewind is a classroom-friendly tool where teachers can send messages to individuals or groups without publicising anyone’s personal contact information. You can also choose to translate your messages in more than 70 languages. This is ideal for a teacher who has exchange students that don’t understand the language.
Teachers.io is a tool that teachers and students can use through the website and the app. Teachers can plan everything for the coming week and share it with their students. This tool can be seen as an online agenda for students and teachers. Students have to download the app, and select their class to get all the information the teachers noted down.
Zoom more or less does the same as Skype, although it’s more used to connect a lot of people with each other. With zoom, people or students can log in and start talking to each other. It’s mostly used as a webinar system, but it’s quite valuable for communicating with your students and the entire classroom from a distance as well.
5. Google Drive
With Google Drive, you can easily share files with your students. You can send them tasks, assignments, and essays from anywhere. Students and other teachers can open these files and work on them together or separately (using Google Docs). If you are a teacher that likes to give your students tasks, assignments or essays in a way your students can collaborate from anywhere, Google Drive (and Docs) is the ideal tool to use.
With BookWidgets you can create your own class Planner “widget” for everyone to use. With this widget, students know what they have to do and when they have to do it. When your students have finished a task they can simply tick it off on this widget. It’s so easy to use that your students can’t come up with excuses for not knowing what has to be done when.
WhatsApp is a social media tool, just like Skype or Facebook Messenger, where you can communicate with other WhatsApp users or with groups. Create your own WhatsApp group with your students and communicate via this network with your students. Because it’s mobile friendly, you can even communicate when they are home when you forgot something important to say.
If you’re a teacher working with iPads in the classroom, chances are you’re using Showbie to assign, collect and review student work. It’s kind of like Dropbox, but specifically for classrooms. You can easily creates classes and add students to them. Send assignments, collecting student work and create groups about certain topics. You can add your students (or parents!) to let them discuss the topics or just be aware of class arrangements.
Use Snapchat if you want to communicate in a very fun way with your students. Create a class group and communicate with funny pictures or videos. You can also use filters to make your pictures and videos even look crazier. Because it’s so popular with students, it’s easy to use in your classroom as well.
Facebook is an easy way to communicate with your students. Create a private class group depending on how you want it. Since most of them already have a Facebook account, this is an easy tool to use in your classroom. You can have class discussions, create polls, give them tasks, … with a Facebook class group.
Communication tools for teachers and parents
Bloomz is especially created for parent-teacher communication. The only thing parents have to do is sign up to receive notifications in the app, email, or as text. With this tool, parents can also communicate with each other. Another useful feature is the one to create parent-teacher conferences, request and organize volunteer help.
The ParentSquare app is ideal to communicate school happenings and events with your students' parents. You can ask them to help on your school events, send them notifications, pictures, send them messages, … You can also let parents participate in fundraisers, let them fill out forms, pay fees for supplies and field trips. It’s an ideal tool for your school happenings and events.
Seesaws let students and teachers think out of the box. Let your students upload their work in file-form, in a video or a picture and share it afterward with their parents. This way, parents really see what their kids have learned. It’s a great way for students to let them show what they’ve achieved in school. Parents can also comment on student work and chat with the teacher.
Classtag is a messaging tool created for teachers and their students' parents. You can also use this for scheduling parent-teacher conferences, events, to-do items, and volunteer requests. Teachers and parents can also customize how the tool sends email alerts and reminders. This tool also gives the teachers a summary of their posts for the week, and how their parents have interacted with them.
ClassDojo is an online classroom management platform. Here, teachers can record and track student behavior, curate student portfolios, facilitate classroom activities, and communicate with parents. Parents can, when they’ve created an account, see the behavioral and academic progress of their child, and communicate with the teacher. Teachers can also share their classroom events and photos so parents feel more connected to the classroom.
SimplyCircle is an online parent communication platform. This is created to increase parental engagement. All you have to do is create a circle and invite your students' parents. Next, you can create and share content, and parents engage with your content. Every morning, parents receive a reminder mail and every day they get a daily digest mail. When something is really urgent, you can still reach your students' parents by mail.
TalkingPoints allows you to communicate with your students' parents in their home language. It works with a mobile phone or internet-connected devices, but it functions better on a desktop. The teacher can choose to send messages to individual parents, to a group or to the whole class. Pictures or polls to ask for feedback can also be attached to the messages.
With “Heard”, teachers and parents can engage, share resources, plan events, … To be part of this communication platform, all you need to do is sign up via email invite and join groups. Teachers and parents share information and communicate with each other in a group or individually. The teacher should also be aware that there may be members who spread incorrect information which may occur conflicts. As a teacher, you should be prepared to moderate these disagreements when necessary.
FreshGrade is a portfolio and assessment platform that helps students, teachers and parents to have deeper conversations about learning. It allows students to post content on the subject they are working on and provides feedback from both teachers and parents. Teachers can also post the grades of their students on this tool. Parents can view this and their own child’s portfolio, and they can leave a comment on it. That way, parents know what their children are learning and how they’re doing in school.
20. Athena’s Workshop
This texting platform is specifically designed for teachers. With Athena’s Workshop, teachers can communicate with their students and their parents via SMS texting. Teachers can choose, as in most of these tools, to send a message to groups of students and parents. With this tool, parents and students can respond to these messages when they have certain questions.
Communication tools for the school staff
Airtable is an online collaboration tool. With this tool, you can communicate with other teachers and the school staff. You can’t send them direct messages, but you can link this tool to other tools such as your mail, Facebook, Slack, … In fact, this tool is a management tool which teachers can, for example, use as an editorial calendar. You create a spreadsheet where you can see what other teachers are teaching for example. In this way, you know what students have already learned and what they haven’t.
The app Evernote is more than just a notebook. You can also share your notes with your colleagues, which makes it easy for them when you become ill. Teachers can also share practical links with each other in these notes. When you don’t have the time to ask other colleagues things, you can also create a note with a question which they can answer when they see it.
The communication and mobile intranet platform Staffbase is created as a communicator in larger organizations. You can send a message, create content for the news feed or the mobile magazine and create surveys. Teachers and users of this tool can directly give feedback by liking, commenting and sharing posts. In fact, it’s like a social media channel of your own school.
24. Eko app
The Eko-app is a mobile collaboration and communication app for teams. With this app, you can make voice and video calls, send messages, share files, … You can create teacher groups for each grade or create a group for the whole school. Once you’ve created groups, you can also create workflows, reports, set deadlines, … This is a very orderly way of communicating with large groups.
25. Microsoft Teams
Teams is a free application from Microsoft, and is designed for groups of all kinds. Use the group chat to communicate with your administration or fellow teachers over bigger school projects. Team is also suited for online meetings, calling, and web conferencing. It’s als easy to collaborate on files with built-in Office 365 apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and SharePoint. Of course, there’s more, so make sure to check it out.
Blink is a modern app for internal communication in organizations. You can use messages, videos, post, polls, application notifications to reach your fellow teachers. It’s ideal to encourage communication, enhance productivity, and keep everyone informed.
With Slack, communication among team members becomes easier and better. It’s a central place to chat about what’s on their mind, share files, and work on projects together. This tool is also integrated with other tools such as Trello, Google Drive, … Slack also has a handy search function. You can easily search across messages, channels, and files to find the information you need.
DeskAlerts is a multi-channel alerting software with a lot of communication features including desktop alerts, mobile alerts, SMS… This tool delivers pop-up alerts to the screens you want on the right moment. So when you have a meeting with your fellow teachers you can send them in the morning a pop-up so they don’t forget they have a meeting later that day.
29. Team on the run
Team on The Run improves corporate communication within your school. It is a very reliable and secure tool, with which you can communicate with other colleagues in real time, any time.
30. Zoho Cliq
With Zoho Cliq, you can chat with fellow teachers, share documents, and do audio and video calls to have a better communication and a deeper collaboration. Chat with one or several members in a channel. You can have as many channels as you want simultaneously, all viewable from a single window. In these channels, you can have your audio and video calls. You can compare this app to Slack, it all depends on which one you like the most.
As you can see, there are a lot of communication tools you can use in your school. I hope you discovered some new tools that you can use yourself.
Share this post with fellow teachers so you can set up the best communication flow for in your school.