Ten years ago, communication between teachers and families consisted of newsletters and phone calls. Now, with the proliferation of smartphones and computers, there are several more options for communication. I’m going to focus on more immediate forms of communications, for example sending home time sensitive information.
One of the most popular is the Remind. Remind is a free service that allows parents and students to sign up for classroom alerts. These alerts can be received as SMS text messages, push notifcations from the Remind app, and email. Because there are several ways to receive messages with Remind it’s easy to integrate into your classroom. Remind can also schedule alerts in the future and schedule “office hours”, specific times where you are available for questions or support. All of Remind’s services work in such a way as the teacher never has access to student’s or parent’s phone numbers.
If Remind doesn’t do what you need, you can check out Google Groups, Twitter, or push services such as Pushbullet. Each of these has their pros and cons. Google Groups and Pushbullet don’t work with SMS text messages. Twitter does, but then, Twitter messages are public.