"It is not about the technology; it’s about sharing knowledge and information, communicating efficiently, building learning communities and creating a culture of professionalism in schools.
These are the key responsibilities of all educational leaders," says Marion Ginapolis, Superintendent, Lake Orion Community Schools, Michigan.
When talking about the digital learning, the first and foremost question asked by teachers, students and parents is that- “Does it meet the educational needs of the students, provide a track of kids activities to their parents and help teachers in other tasks (management) other than effective teaching?”
Communication in schools and colleges between the teachers and students, teachers/school leaders and parents must aim to meet the educational needs of the students and the “update” needs of parents. Educators must target the school communication rightly to allow parents get the information they need and want, and not the information they don’t.
Mitchell Miller (Student Life Coordinator and Student Communications Advisor for McGill University’s Student Services) says that institutions must establish and devote personnel and units devoted specifically to student communications.
“Student communications” is now categorized as a professional field and functions in its own right.
According to Miller, communications should be seen from students’ point of view to fulfill all their educational needs.
- Students not only want their teachers to teach them the academics but also be empathetic towards them.
- Students want their teachers to use words and describe services in a way that doesn’t need any pre requisite knowledge so that they feel assured that any assumptions aren’t being made by the teachers about their baseline knowledge. No child should feel ostracized.
- Students want their teachers to understand their needs, interest and tendencies in mind and all this requires continuous connect and communication. Students expect their communication to be intuitive and to meet their expectations.
- Teachers must also bring in the student voice and must have the students help in the conceptualization, creation, and dissemination of your communications.
Educational leaders quote that you should never undervalue the importance of relation building with parents. Initially, the process will seem to be quite time-consuming but do try to make time for every parent as it makes a huge difference for our parents that they are acknowledged.
Usually the problem with no off-class communication with students or parents is that it creates a gap between students and teachers. But we believe the reason for communication not taking place in this digital age should not be unavailability of professional safe resources.
To know about the potential options available we would recommend you to reach out to companies like Arch – The Way, Voxer, Remind or OOHLALA which have popular tools that help educators and education institutions to improve student success by enhancing engagement and communication.
For example, the latest tool gaining recognition in the education community Arch – The Way is a free app for classroom communication through which Students, teachers and Parents can stay in touch. The app is of a great use for teachers, schools and universities.
It gives students only teachers’ updates blocking out all fruitless distractions. The platform allows broadcasting of messages, images, videos, tabular schedules, and files via cellphones making educational communication simpler. It is a safe way for teachers to be in touch with their students and parents as all the features of the app can be accessed without a single exchange of contact providing protection to the privacy of teachers, students and parents.
Arch also helps teachers to receive and reply to the feedback from their students privately, which helps educators, grow on their personal level. It is safe for all the classroom communication as it can only be accessed by the unique code provided by the teacher which enables them to communicate to the individual subscribers.
Tools like Arch - The Way are available across platform like Android, Windows, iOS increasing access, and in fact also available for teachers, students and parents who do not have smartphones. It helps in improving the class performance by regularly addressing students and parents keeping them in loop regarding class activities and keeping them updated about students’ performance.
In one of the recent conversations with Arch – The Way’s Founder, Rudresh Chowdhary shared that “It has become very important for teachers to communicate with students & parents where their attention already is: On Their Phones. With this fast paced life, it has turned out to be a savior for parents as it enables them to be updated about their child’s performance without giving thoughts to skipping office.”
We would love to know which tools you use as educators for effective school communication, interaction with students and parents. Share your insights in the comment box.