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Monday, August 31, 2015

SimplyCircle: An all-in-one app to manage parent communication


Today we have a special guest post from the folks from SimplyCircle. You have to check this App out! 

Now that school has started, have you decided how you’re going to communicate with parents? Keeping parents informed about what is happening in the class will get them more engaged. Plus, you can get more help from them in the classroom, if you do it right.



Many teachers still use email or paper flyers to communicate with parents. But emails can get stuck in spam folders, or get “buried” in an overflowing inbox. And a paper flyer may never make it home at all, or get turned into a paper airplane within minutes. As a result, teachers don’t get the parent engagement they need, despite all of their efforts to communicate.

Other teachers combine many different single-purpose tools – texting for messaging individual parents, mass emails for parent updates, a photo sharing service for sending photos, and online sign up sheets to get volunteers for their classroom. But using so many different tools is time-consuming for the teacher, and overwhelming for the parents. And so many things get “lost in translation”.

But did you know that there is a better way? I recommend a service called SimplyCircle. It’s a free service that combines all the tools that teachers need to communicate with parents in one easy-to-use platform. It takes just minutes to create a circle for your class and to get going, and then you can use the SimplyCircle web app or mobile app to manage all of your parent communication from any computer, tablet, or mobile phone.



Post messages, events and tasks
Rather than send out your class update through email, send it through SimplyCircle – and then parents can view it in their email, online, or through SimplyCircle’s iOS or Android apps. You can post regular messages, and also post events and tasks that have automated reminders. You won’t have to remember to remind parents to return that permission slip or bring back library books – SimplyCircle will do it for you. And, if you choose to, you can let parents participate in the discussion and share photos as well.



Get volunteers
Lots of parents want to help in the classroom, but they may not be willing to commit to volunteer for the full year at back-to-school night. With SimplyCircle, you can post volunteer opportunities that are one-off or recurring, and parents can sign up in one click. You can ask them to show up as volunteers, or to bring supplies or food.



Share photos and documents
With SimplyCircle, you can share photos with the entire class - securely.  Parents always love seeing pictures of their kiddos! Plus you can post your classroom rules, reading lists, homework or other docs where parents can refer back to them later.



Share on-the-go updates with the mobile app
SimplyCircle’s iOS and Android apps let you send updates, request volunteers or message individual parents in seconds. You can also share photos straight from your phone.




Easy to get started
Don’t have everyone’s email address? No problem. With SimplyCircle, you can create a unique invite code for your class and send it home on a flyer, requesting that parents join. Or if you have their email addresses, you can send out invitations in seconds.




So make this year the year that you modernize your classroom communications. With SimplyCircle, you’ll get better-informed and more helpful parents. And since SimplyCircle is completely free, you’ve got nothing to lose.

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