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Beyond the Newsletter


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Smartphones are in most pockets and purses, meaning teachers and administrators can meet students and parents where they are, putting valuable information about the school and classroom in the palms of their hands – literally. If a monthly newsletter is black and white television, tools like Remind, ClassDojo, and social media are Blu-Ray. In this session, Brent shares free, practical, and effective ways to connect students and parents to the amazing things taking place at school.

Published in: Education
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Beyond the Newsletter

  1. 1. Beyond the Newsletter Strengthening School -Home Communication Using Technology Brent Coley | @brentcoley |
  2. 2. Principal Alta Murrieta Elementary Murrieta, CA
  3. 3. Yes, I’m aware I married up. Yes, I’m aware the boys are going to start calling. Yes, I’m aware I have a Mini-Me. Yes, it’s gotten more gray since becoming a principal.
  4. 4. It’s been said everyone has a twin.
  5. 5. Resources available at
  6. 6. Are you aware of your job title?
  7. 7. Director of Public Relations
  8. 8. “If you don’t tell your school’s story, someone else will. And it won’t be nearly as interesting, accurate, or authentic.” - Matt Renwick @HowePrincipal
  9. 9. The Planned Lifecycle of a Newsletter
  10. 10. The Planned Lifecycle of a Newsletter
  11. 11. The Actual Lifecycle of a Newsletter
  12. 12. and the final destination…
  13. 13. How many of you get your news from a traditional newspaper?
  14. 14. Photo by Abdullah AL-Naser - Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License Created with Haiku Deck 8 Free Tools (plus one bonus)
  15. 15. Photo by B Tal - Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License Created with Haiku Deck
  16. 16. Social Media
  17. 17. How many of you use at least one of these forms of social media?
  18. 18. How many times a day do you check for updates?
  19. 19. Use of social media can instantly put information into the hands of students and parents — literally!
  20. 20. Schedule Updates in Facebook, TweetDeck, and Hootesuite
  21. 21. Remind
  22. 22. A safe, free way for teachers to text message students and stay in touch with parents Remind
  23. 23. Messaging is one-way and does not use your personal cell phone number. Remind
  24. 24. Send photos, documents, PDF’s, and more! Remind
  25. 25. Create separate “classes.” (e.g. Period 1, Period 2, Parents, Leadership Team) Remind
  26. 26. Messages can be scheduled! Remind
  27. 27. “Chat” is coming soon! The option of safe, simple, one-on-one conversations Remind
  28. 28. App available for both iOS and Android! Remind
  29. 29. Text @brentc to 81010 Remind
  30. 30. Class Dojo
  31. 31. Class Dojo A real-time behavioral management and skill tracking tool.
  32. 32. Class Dojo Reinforce positive behavior and skills by giving feedback points.
  33. 33. Class Dojo Quick to set up, easy to use, and completely free!
  34. 34. Class Dojo Share real-time data with parents quickly and easily.
  35. 35. Class Dojo Send whole-class broadcasts to parents or individual messages.
  36. 36. Class Dojo A great way to track IEP goals!
  37. 37. Google Forms
  38. 38. Google Forms An online form that neatly organizes results into a spreadsheet
  39. 39. Google Forms Spreadsheet results can be shared with others.
  40. 40. Google Forms Forms for Feedback (“Mini-Flipping”)
  41. 41. Google Forms Parent Contact Log
  42. 42. Google Forms Parent/Student Feedback
  43. 43. Google Forms Tutorial videos available at
  44. 44. Video Messages
  45. 45. Video Messages Would you rather…? A. Read an update B. Watch a video update
  46. 46. Video Messages Many students and parents are more likely to watch than read what you have to say.
  47. 47. Video Messages
  48. 48. Video Messages Prefer not to be on camera? Use Screencast-O-Matic to capture a PowerPoint, Keynote or Google Slides presentation.
  49. 49. Blogging
  50. 50. Blogging “What did you do at school today?”
  51. 51. Blogging “Nothing.”
  52. 52. Blogging Roving Reporters
  53. 53. Blogging Are you blogging?
  54. 54. Google Voice
  55. 55. Google Voice Don’t want to give your students or parents your personal cell phone number?
  56. 56. Google Voice Neither do I. That’s where Google Voice comes in.
  57. 57. Google Voice Google Voice gives you a phone number that you can give to students and/or parents in case of emergency.
  58. 58. Google Voice You determine which phone will ring.
  59. 59. Google Voice You can take the call or let it go to voicemail.
  60. 60. Google Voice You get a transcription of voicemail (plus the audio).
  61. 61. Google Voice App available for both iOS and Android!
  62. 62. Class Website
  63. 63. Weebly Simple yet powerful drag-and-drop website creation
  64. 64. Weebly Education version that offers student accounts
  65. 65. Photo by hfabulous - Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License Created with Haiku Deck
  66. 66. iMovie Trailers
  67. 67. iMovie Trailers Use built-in movie trailer templates to promote what you’re doing in your classroom or school.
  68. 68. iMovie Trailers
  69. 69. Slides and additional resources available at: @brentcoley