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Friday, June 12 • 9:00am - 10:00am
Bridging the Communication Gap with Parents Using New Tools

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Teachers spend a great deal of time building a community of learners, setting up classroom expectations and procedures. But how much time do we commit to building community with our parents? The sooner teachers can connect parents to what’s happening in the classroom, the sooner teachers begin to develop positive relationships with parents.

As the first user of Remind, a member of the Teacher Advisory Board and and beta-tester, I know that Remind is a game changer in terms of teacher/student/family communication. Remind allows teachers to create groups to which both parents and students can subscribe. Teachers send out text messages (via the Remind app or web dashboard) highlighting classroom activities and homework assignments. Teachers can add links and pictures to these messages. They can also include voice notes to augment the written message. In this workshop teachers will use mobile device to set up their Remind account, create a group, send out their first messages, and discuss creative ways of using Remind to connect with students and families. Building relationships with parents brings to light any difficulty students are having and nips it in the bud--a nice change from the old model of waiting until things become major issues and necessitate parent-teacher conferences.

They say a picture tells 1,000 words. Well that couldn't be more true in the average classroom. Parents are busy and aren’t necessarily able to volunteer in the classroom. Students don’t always communicate effectively with their parents about the school day, resulting in well-meaning efforts by the teacher to get the message across by everything from printed out notes, to emails that don’t get read, to Post-It notes on kids’ backpacks.

Remind is a welcome addition to the suite of other apps that have proven invaluable to me as a teacher.

For example, Instagram can be a powerful educational technology tool for teachers. But just sharing on Instagram might not reach your complete intended audience. That is why I use IFTTT recipes to automate certain actions from Instagram. Once I post a picture on Instagram, a recipe automatically posts a native picture on Twitter. Another recipe also posts the picture to my Flickr photostream. Another sends these pictures to my Tumblr blog. And if I add a specific hashtag to my Instagram pictures, they automatically show up on my class Facebook page. While some might say this is a bit overzealous, I’m able to share my classroom with a much greater audience, even greater than just the parents of the kids I teach. In this workshop teachers will create IFTTT recipes using a variety of social media channels.

This workshop is designed for teachers new to Remind and other social media tools.


Michael Buist

5th Grade Teacher, Knox Gifted Academy
Michael Buist is a fifth-grade teacher at Knox Gifted Academy in Chandler, Arizona. He is a member of the Remind Teacher Advisory Board, as well as the first user of the product. Buist integrates a variety of educational technology tools into the school’s STEM curriculum, including... Read More →

Friday June 12, 2015 9:00am - 10:00am

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