20 Best communication tools for teachers
Last updated on: May 12, 2023
Technology has changed education in the sense that it has broadened access to it. Now, information (e-books, audiobooks, videos, podcasts, etc.) is available to anyone with a stable internet connection. Furthermore, we have the technology to thank for the enhancement of communication and collaboration in our schools. No longer are we limited to physical space for learning, for we are no longer trapped in the four walls of the classroom.
With the advancements in technology, the ways of communicating also changed, so now teachers have a great number of communication tools to choose from.
In his article, Communication and effective teaching, Detlef R. Prozesky highlights the connection between communication and teaching. If communication is a process of transferring information to other people, the link between teaching and communication is clear — since teachers are constantly imparting new knowledge, i.e. transferring information.
In that light, in this blog post, we’ll comb through some of the best communication tools for teachers. To make it easier for you, we’ll divide them into three categories:
- communication tools for teachers working together
- communication tools for teachers and students
- communication tools for teachers and parents
So, let’s see what edtech apps are at our disposal.
Communication tools for teachers working together
Teachers working together should be able to communicate and collaborate without a hitch. To overcome the silo mentality, the most effective thing to do would be to use different communication tools that are available. In that light, email is maybe not the best option for communication among teachers. Still, they should find a convenient way to share information in a remote setting.
Dear teachers, that is why we’re giving you suggestions for some of the most efficient communication tools for communication and collaboration with your colleagues.
This time, we’ve chosen the following apps: Pumble, Airtable, Evernote, Staffbase, and Blink.
– for streamlined communication and collaboration among teachers
🔸 What is Pumble?
Pumble is a business messaging platform that allows teachers to collaborate and communicate with one another, using direct messages, private, and public channels.
🔸 Why use Pumble in education?
Pumble enables teachers to efficiently communicate with other teachers in a highly organized manner. They can have one-on-one conversations, group chats, private and public channels, open to all employees. Sharing important information and updates is easy, with separate channels for different notifications. Furthermore, in channels and DM conversations, chat can be structured into threads, which keeps the communication clear and tidy. Aside from that, Pumble supports drag-and-drop file sharing, as well as file and link previews. Pumble provides a self-hosting option so that educational organizations can host the software on their servers to ensure data protection.
🔸 Pumble’s best feature for educators:
Pumble allows workspace owners to invite guests to the workspace — these guests only have access to those channels that they are invited to. This is especially useful if teachers want to invite parents to a channel, to discuss their children’s schoolwork or address a specific problem.
🔸 Pumble is available for: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, Apple iOS
– for creating content for curriculums
🔸 What is Airtable?
Airtable is an online collaboration platform for creating and sharing databases.
🔸 Why use Airtable in education?
Airtable is a useful tool for communication among teachers themselves and the rest of the school staff. This platform allows them to send direct messages, as well as to integrate the tool with other tools they’re using (such as mail, social media, etc.). Several templates are at their disposal and can help them create a spreadsheet where they can see what other teachers are teaching. This helps them keep track of students’ progress.
🔸 Airtable’s best feature for educators:
Airtable allows its users to switch between multiple views (spreadsheets, cards, Kanban), so they don’t have to switch platforms. It facilitates collaboration between teachers.
🔸 Airtable is available for: Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, Apple iOS
– for streamlining team communication
🔸 What is Chanty?
Chanty is a team communication and collaboration platform designed to simplify workplace messaging and project management for teachers and their colleagues.
🔸 Why use Chanty in education?
Chanty is an ideal tool for teachers and education professionals who want to streamline their communication and collaborate more efficiently. With Chanty, teachers can easily create dedicated channels for specific projects or classes, share files and resources with colleagues, and collaborate on lesson plans and curricula. Chanty’s task manager also allows for easy tracking and assignment of tasks to streamline workflows.
🔸 Chanty’s best features for educators:
Chanty offers several features that make it an excellent tool for educators, including seamless integration with popular educational tools like Google Drive and Trello, searchable message archives for easy retrieval of information, and a user-friendly interface that’s easy to navigate. Chanty also offers real-time messaging, audio and video calls, screen sharing, and file sharing, all on one platform.
🔸 Chanty is available on: Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, Apple iOS
– for taking notes and planning school schedules
🔸 What is Evernote?
Evernote is a collaboration tool for taking notes and project planning.
🔸 Why use Evernote in education?
Evernote enables teachers to take notes and add more than text to them – photos, files, and to-do lists. Creating a personal space for the most important ideas and information is easy with Evernote. This platform allows syncing notes to all devices so they stay with users even when they’re offline. Teachers can create documents, collaborate on projects, and store information on this platform. All the team members can access the notes and files, edit them and upload their own.
🔸 Evernote’s best feature for educators:
Evernote enables users to scan documents (even their handwritten notes) and make them searchable, which facilitates collaboration among teaching staff.
🔸 Evernote is available for: Apple iOS, Android, Web Clipper browser extension
– for collaboration among teachers through various communication channels
🔸 What is Staffbase?
Staffbase is an employee communication platform with various channels, like news, mobile magazine, chat rooms, and surveys.
🔸 Why use Staffbase in education?
This platform streamlines communication between teaching staff, by allowing team members to reach their colleagues, no matter where they are, with mobile news and alerts. No email addresses or telephone numbers are needed. Updates are accessible and interactive, with comments, likes, and auto-translations. Staffbase allows users to create one place for all the crucial information, where important contacts, documents, and FAQs can be found.
🔸 Staffbase’s best feature for educators:
With the help of widgets, educators can easily create a page where all essential information can be found.
🔸 Staffbase is available for: Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, Apple iOS
– for easy access to school’s policies
🔸 What is Blink?
Blink is a mobile intranet software and app through which employees can easily access policies, procedures, and guides.
🔸 Why use Blink in education?
By uploading documents to the hub, teachers can allow their colleagues to access and view their content, making the workflow efficient. Another useful feature is creating and distributing forms and surveys. Users can also add links to useful websites and highlight the most important parts.
🔸 Blink’s best feature for educators:
Blink’s best feature is the global feed that allows sharing relevant information. Teachers can share updates and news directly to the feed, making it easy for everyone to stay up-to-date.
🔸 Blink is available for: Windows, Mac, Android, Apple iOS
💡If you’d like to discover more about team communication tools for any business, you can find the information here.
Communication tools for teachers and students
Although too much screen time can negatively affect children’s mental health, communication between teachers and students in today’s world must involve digital communication tools — at least to some extent. Students today mostly belong to Generation Z and Alpha. They are the so-called digital natives, so using technology doesn’t imply any level of discomfort for them. Teachers should take advantage of these generations’ digital mastery and use some of the tools at their disposal to improve communication with them. These communication tools might even help them overcome some barriers to communication. We offer you some solutions.
Our picks are Remind, Zoom, Google Classroom, Socrative, Edmodo, EdPuzzle, and Genially.
– for communicating with students and tracking their progress
🔸 What is Remind?
Remind is a tool that enables and simplifies two-way communication between teachers and students. It allows teachers to schedule class announcements and set their availability.
🔸 Why use Remind in education?
Remind is great for communicating between teachers and students, as well as for tracking assignments, tests, and other projects throughout the school year. Another advantage is that it’s integrated with Google Classroom, which makes it easier for teachers to organize their school activities.
🔸 Remind’s best feature for educators:
Remind has an in-app translation feature for 70 languages. This feature helps teachers communicate with students with whom they don’t share a mother tongue.
🔸 Remind is available for: Android, Apple iOS
– for classroom audio and video conferencing
🔸 What is Zoom?
Zoom is a video communication app that allows you to set up video and audio conferencing, webinars, and meetings.
🔸 Why use Zoom in education?
Zoom allows teachers to deliver online and hybrid classes. It enables them to engage students through stunning virtual experiences and expand access to education.
🔸 Zoom’s best feature for educators:
You don’t need an account to use Zoom. All you need is a Zoom meeting link provided by the host.
🔸 Zoom is available for: Windows, Linux, Mac, Apple iOS, Android, Blackberry, Mobile Web
– for engaging students, creating assignments, and assessing students’ progress
🔸 What is Google Classroom?
Google Classroom is a communication tool that enables teachers to create assignments, receive feedback, assess students’ progress, and share information. It is an easy, user-friendly platform that enables paperless assignment workflow.
🔸 Why use Google Classroom in education?
Google Classroom is integrated with Google Drive. It has four prominent tabs:
- Stream – a feed where anyone in the classroom can see announcements and upcoming events
- Classwork – where students can see all the assignments
- People – here, teacher’s and students’ names are displayed
- Grades – where students’ grades are displayed
With Google Classroom, teachers can easily assign tasks to students, assess them, and repeat some of the tasks, if needed. Aside from that, they can make quizzes, or upload documents with the assignment and edit them when needed.
🔸 Google Classroom’s best feature for educators:
The best feature is that the work students submit is time-stamped. This way teachers can check whether the students have submitted their work before the deadline.
🔸 Google Classroom is available for: Windows, Mac, Android, Apple iOS
– for engaging and assessing students in a remote-first world
🔸 What is Socrative?
Socrative is a fun tool for effective engagement and impromptu assessments. It is a time-saving way to monitor and evaluate learning in an interesting way.
🔸 Why use Socrative in education:
Socrative’s features provide teachers with different options for assessing their students. They can launch a quiz, receive feedback in the form of the exit ticket, or ask a quick question for instant feedback. Quizzes and assignments are saved in the library, so they can be reused at a moment’s notice. Apart from that, students’ reports are saved to the teacher’s account, so they can be downloaded or emailed. Socrative allows teachers to launch activities in virtual rooms that are easy to create. Teachers are able to see student responses and whether they are correct or incorrect in real-time. Thanks to that, teachers can modify the lesson based on student understanding. On the other hand, students can see how well they understand the material.
🔸 Socrative’s best feature for educators:
A special treat is certainly Space race – a fun intergalactic quiz bowl, where students, individually or in groups, race across the screen with correct answers.
🔸 Socrative is available for: Windows, Mac, Android, Apple iOS
– for sharing assignments and quizzes to students
🔸 What is Edmodo?
Edmodo is a student engagement platform that helps teachers collaborate with students using posts and messages.
🔸 Why use Edmodo in education?
This platform allows teachers to create and share assignments, quizzes, and all the necessary materials for improving student learning. Moreover, students can organize classwork by using a planner. They can pose questions on a centralized dashboard. With a user-friendly interface, similar to some social media platforms, teachers and students can easily communicate with one another. Aside from that, students earn badges for their hard work, which is a great way to motivate them.
🔸 Edmodo’s best feature for educators:
The best feature of the platform is the quiz generator, which enables teachers to quickly create a set of questions concerning the teaching unit they want to assess their students.
🔸 Edmodo is available for: Windows, Mac, Android, Apple iOS
– for engaging students in a remote-first world using video content
🔸 What is EdPuzzle?
EdPuzzle is an easy-to-use platform for engaging students using video content.
🔸 Why use EdPuzzle in education:
This platform allows teachers to share videos from YouTube, Khan Academy, Crash Course, and many others with their students. Of course, they are also encouraged to create their own content and share it with the students. By sharing the interactive video lessons with their students, teachers enable the students to learn at their own pace. Moreover, teachers can also add their own voices and questions to the videos. Another useful feature is that teachers can check how many times students have watched each section of the video, which can tell them if the students have understood the content.
🔸 EdPuzzle’s best feature for educators:
The best feature of this platform is that it allows teachers to embed questions in the video, so they can monitor students’ thinking and comprehension regarding a specific topic or a lesson. In that way, they can oversee their progress. Another great subfeature is that teachers can set the playback and disable skipping ahead — thereby ensuring that students have watched the whole video.
🔸 EdPuzzle is available for: Windows, Mac, Android, Apple iOS
– for engaging students through visual content
🔸 What is Genially?
Genially is an online tool for creating presentations, interactive images, infographics, quizzes, etc.
🔸 Why use Genially in education:
Genially is a great tool for motivating students via interactive learning material and gamification. Interaction and animation help students become more engaged, involved, and aware of their achievements. By using this tool, teachers become real influencers and masters in catching students’ attention. Genially can be used in a classroom setting, online, or in a hybrid class, since all the teaching materials are in the cloud, available at any time.
🔸 Genially’s best feature for educators:
Intuitive Editor that enables teachers to easily navigate through and enrich their creation.
🔸 Genially is available for: Web-based
Communication tools for teachers and parents
After a long day in school, the last thing teachers want is to deal with parents. Let’s face it, it’s no easy feat. But fear not, dear teachers, there’s an easier solution than having to meet face-to-face with parents of your students, or needing to answer the phone when an unknown caller pops up on your screen. So, if you want your students to have good learning support, you should take into account some of the ways in which this communication can take place, in an effective and least intrusive way possible.
Of course, we’re not forgetting the fact that the parents are also overwhelmed with information and that this is one of the factors leading to parental burnout. This goes to show that the parents could also use one communication tool that encompasses all the relevant information for their children’s education.
Without further ado, let’s consider some of the useful tools for communication between teachers and parents: Class Dojo, Bloomz, ClassTag, ParentSquare, Seesaw, Flipgrid, and Google Voice.
– for engaging parents through images and messages
🔸 What is Class Dojo?
Class Dojo is a classroom management software that helps teachers engage with parents via images, messages, and video content.
🔸 Why use Class Dojo in education:
Class Dojo enables teachers to create students’ portfolios and share them with the parents. This platform allows the teachers to create stories through which they share photos, videos, links, and files with their students’ parents. In this way, teachers can effortlessly keep all parents in the loop regarding all the moments they want to share – projects, field trips, and celebrations.
🔸 Class Dojo’s best feature:
Communication between parents and teachers is enhanced and simplified. A useful feature is that parents can choose from 30+ languages for communication with teachers.
🔸 Class Dojo is available for: Windows, Mac, Android, Apple iOS
– for updating parents about their children’s progress
🔸 What is Bloomz?
Bloomz is a mobile and web app that enables teachers to communicate with parents in a secure, private, and easily accessible way.
🔸 Why use Bloomz in education?
This platform facilitates communication between parents and teachers by enabling teachers to easily send class updates, announcements, alerts, and notifications to parents. Bloomz also helps teachers keep parents informed about the school calendar, making it easier for parents to participate in events or volunteering opportunities. Available in 100+ languages, Bloomz makes sure no one is left behind in communication, no matter what their native language is.
🔸 Bloomz’s best feature:
The best thing about Bloomz is the feature Text signups and Notifications that work great for scheduling parent-teacher conferences. Parents receive messages when the teacher posts something, so they stay on top of what’s going on in the classroom.
🔸 Bloomz is available for: Mac, Windows, Android, Apple iOS
– for engaging parents through direct messages and newsletters
🔸 What is ClassTag?
ClassTag is an easy-to-use parent-teacher communication app, with automatic translation to 50+ languages.
🔸 Why use ClassTag in education:
ClassTag is an app that provides teachers with a transparent record of their communication with parents. It streamlines communication, allowing teachers to send direct messages to parents, as well as photos, videos, school announcements, class calendars, events, and newsletters. Via this app, teachers can also set up automatic weekly or monthly newsletters, which are sent whenever they like it. In one click, parents can sign up for volunteering or giving donations.
🔸 ClassTag’s best feature:
The best feature of ClassTag is its automatic conversion to email or SMS, depending on parents’ preferences.
🔸 ClassTag is available for: Windows, Mac, Android, Apple iOS
– for regular updates about students
🔸 What is ParentSquare?
ParentSquare is a cloud-based communication tool designed to facilitate and automate communication between educators and parents.
🔸 Why use ParentSquare in education?
ParentSquare is a useful tool that enables teachers to send regular updates about students to the parents. Apart from that, there is a parents portal, where users can update their contact details, access students’ report cards, set alert preferences, and sign-up for volunteering. In addition to all of this, teachers can send important alerts to the parents.
🔸 ParentSquare’s best feature:
ParentSquare’s best feature is a message library, which enables teachers to quickly send urgent alerts during emergencies — such as lockdowns or extreme weather conditions.
🔸 ParentSquare is available for: Android, Apple iOS
– for engaging parents, no matter what their native language is
🔸 What is Seesaw?
Seesaw is a platform that fosters meaningful communication between teachers and parents in all corners of the world, thanks to the translation feature.
🔸 Why use Seesaw in education?
Seesaw enables teachers to share photos, videos, links, and files in private messages to parents. They can also send them as announcements to the whole class. Aside from that, parents see only their own child’s work. Teachers choose whether they will enable family commenting. Thanks to the automated translations into over 55 languages, they can reach all the parents in their mother tongues.
🔸 Seesaw’s best feature:
The best feature of this platform is that any text written in it can easily be translated by the tapping of a button.
🔸 Seesaw is available for: Windows, Mac, Android
– for engaging parents through QR codes for their children’s work
🔸 What is Flipgrid?
Flipgrid is a video discussion platform that helps teachers form strong bonds with parents from the very beginning of their cooperation.
🔸 Why use Flipgrid in education:
Flipgrid allows teachers to keep in touch with parents in a remote-first world. Whether teachers are planning parent-teacher conferences or just looking for ways to engage students’ families in their schoolwork, Flipgrid is the solution they need. In Flipgrid, you can add QR codes for each student’s work, so their parents can scan it and watch the content at their convenience. There is also an option for teachers to send newsletters to parents, keeping them up-to-date with the progress of their child.
🔸 Flipgrid’s best feature:
Flipgrid offers teachers a possibility to make Class MixTapes in which they can showcase what the children have learned. Parents can follow MixTapes and get notified when teachers add new videos.
🔸 Flipgrid is available for: Android, Apple iOS
– for engaging parents while maintaining your privacy
🔸 What is Google Voice?
Google Voice is a voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) that allows teachers to merge all their cellular services on one number and communicate with parents while maintaining their privacy.
🔸 Why use Google Voice in education?
As an educator, especially when leading remote learning, sometimes you need to call parents. You might not be comfortable sharing your private phone number with them. That’s where Google Voice comes in. All you need to set up your Google Voice is a Google account. You’ll get a new phone number, free of charge. After that, you can make calls from wherever you like — even from your desktop computer.
🔸 Google Voice’s best feature:
Google Voice has a voicemail feature that saves voice messages. Thanks to speech recognition technology, your voicemail is transcribed into text and sent to your Gmail.
🔸 Google Voice is available for: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, Apple iOS
Wrapping Up: (Communication) tools of the trade all teachers need
Technological changes have brought about new opportunities for teaching and learning, introducing us to a world of remote learning. To successfully swim in these waters, teachers should get acquainted with a growing number of communication technologies that can help them communicate better with their students, the students’ parents, as well as with their colleagues. We have given you 21 communication tools you can use in your virtual classroom to enhance the communication and, consequently, the learning process. It should be enough to engage even the most aloof students, as well as the busiest parents. As far as collaboration among teachers is concerned, all we have to say is: “Teachers of the world (or at least of a school), unite!” Feel free to use the tools we suggested above. Teach away!