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Using digital technologies to communicate with whānau

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Started by Chris McLean 23 Mar 2015 3:08pm () Replies (18)

What Social Media / apps are schools using to communicate with parents/ community? Has anyone done away completely with paper newsletters?

Have you surveyed parents to find out what works best for them? If so, what was the response?


  • Deanna Young (View all users posts) 23 Mar 2015 6:49pm ()

    Hi Chris,

    I have communicated with my parents through the class dojo App and on my class blog. They are great ways of passing on last minute notices to parents.


  • Jo Maguire (View all users posts) 23 Mar 2015 7:16pm ()

    I am new to blogs and wikis and would like to know if people use Facebook to communicate with parents. I was thinking of setting up a closed group for my class( which I start in Term 2)  I know early childhood centres are doing this and parents can see what is going on quickly. What do other people do? 

  • Warren Grieve (View all users posts) 23 Mar 2015 7:24pm ()

    What age group of pupils are you working with?

    SeeSaw ipads is great for young. Blogs are fantastic for older (ipad and computer)

  • Jo Maguire (View all users posts) 23 Mar 2015 7:53pm ()

    I am working with NE/Yr 1. I was thinking more of a communication mode to set up the Facebook page. Children to contribute their work is it best on a blog , wiki or any other suggestions?

  • Sue Perry (View all users posts) 23 Mar 2015 10:18pm ()

    We use StoryPark and have ePortfolios. You can do group posts, or duplicate posts, so you wouldn't have to do a post for each individual child. It is great, so easy to use and has awesome support in terms of the 'help' desk.

  • Tony Cairns (View all users posts) 23 Mar 2015 11:27pm ()

    We use gmail, google docs, pdf newsletters, facebook, twitter, phones, texts, YouTube, google+, flicker, messaging, myportfolio, Kamar, moodle, Pinterest, TV, newspapers, booklets, annuals, magazines, BYOD, survey monkey, voicemail systems, parent portal, and face to face meetings using school interview sites

    we use blogs, vlogs, shared editable google docs with comments, and are looking at apps to add video comments to google docs and skypes and hangouts for parents and students from our staff overseas (Galapagos Islands, IYPT in London, Seoul and Taiwan, New York) and on Fulbright scholarships overseas

    We have paper newsletters on the counter but all else are electronic

    Startup weekends with education last year had several apps developed for this exact problem of communicating with parents the news and views from schools electronically


    Tony Cairns - tony.cairns@paradise.net.nz - www.nzgdb.co.nz
    42 Fortunatus Street, Vogeltown, Wellington, 6021 NEW ZEALAND
    Science Teacher at Wellington High School tony.cairns@whs.school.nz
    Home phone (644) 934 8669 Work (644) 385 8911 Mobile 022 653 4021

  • Tony Cairns (View all users posts) 23 Mar 2015 11:29pm ()

    re surveys we are doing that tomorrow with all our students and parents as part of the Learning conversations - personally i prefer paper reports but i am old and a luddite - i just liked the twice yearly envelope with paper i could hold - we are going back to that having gone totally electronic for a few years - as i  as a parent and staff prefer it

    Tony Cairns - tony.cairns@paradise.net.nz - www.nzgdb.co.nz

    42 Fortunatus Street, Vogeltown, Wellington, 6021 NEW ZEALAND
    Science Teacher at Wellington High School tony.cairns@whs.school.nz
    Home phone (644) 934 8669 Work (644) 385 8911 Mobile 022 653 4021

  • Tony Cairns (View all users posts) 23 Mar 2015 11:32pm ()

    so short answer

    yes we have gone to monthly electronic newsletters and quarterly HOF updates

    yes it is well received 

    Yes we have gone to fully digital always live mark and comments as they are marked and no physical reports

    and we are going back to at least one physical report in response to staff and parents expectations for there to be one.

  • Chris McLean (View all users posts) 24 Mar 2015 8:21am ()

    Thanks for all the fabulous ideas!

    On my Twitter feed I see ads for a School app ... I guess that means the school pays to have their own app and it's free to parents. Has anyone had experience of this? If so, how much does it cost the school?

    At my grandchildren's Early Learning Centre they use an app called 'Educa' to communicate with whānau. I get personal stories about my grandchildren with a link to Te Whaariki and any general notices and updates. Have any schools used this app?

  • Hamish McLean (View all users posts) 24 Mar 2015 9:01am ()

    Hi Chris,


    Yes I have seen that too.  Checked it out and recieved a slap in the face regarding the price!  WOW!  

    Our school uses a website called como to create our apps.   I have made our school app for both android and iOS.  The cost comes down to paying apple every year $150 to be a developer, or they pull your app off the store.  No wonder Apple make so much money!!  Google have a one off payment of $50 and thats it!!

    You also need to pay for como each year.  I think its $300 per year??  something like that.  

    Its been 4 weeks and apple are still yet to approve our school app.  Google approve it the same day.

  • MrsB30 (View all users posts) 24 Mar 2015 9:04am ()

    I used Edmodo within my class (Year 3/4) and our school e-mails out newsletters fortnightly using mail chimp. Our community newsletters are linked on our class blogs. I also have a blog, which is more of a place to share our learning.

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