Does anyone here use Bloomz for parent communication?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by TamiJ, Jul 31, 2017.

  1. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I just heard about this app (Bloomz) for parent communication and am interested in it. It looks wonderful in that parents can choose how to get their notifications (email, text, etc.). However, I'd love to hear from anyone who actually has used it.

    Specifically, I am interested to know your experience. Is it easy for all parties involved? Is it better than regular email (I'll continue to keep my website)? Do you recommend it?

    Anyone?
     
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  3. novaguy1968

    novaguy1968 MS English Educator

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    I haven't yet, but I'm evaluating options. Check on Teachercast.net and see if they did a show on this app or on parent-teacher communication apps in general.
     
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  4. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Phenom

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    I switched last year to Bloomz from Remind. I loved it. The parents and admin loved it as well.

    You can send private messages, whole group messages, pictures, and even have student portfolios. The part that sold me was that parents can choose the language they get messages in and they can sign up for parent conference spots that you set. There is a behavior component and volunteer sign up.
     
  5. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    So going to check into this...
     
  6. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Thank you!
     
  7. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    All of those things sound good. My issue is even though I have a web page and I email parents every day, I have noticed a trend in the last couple of years: If it doesn't go straight to the parent's phone, they don't always check. This looks appealing to me as parents can choose how they get my notifications. Do you know if there are any limitation into how many parents you can add to your account (I would be doing the free version...not sure there is a paid version, lol...just assuming there is).
     
  8. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Phenom

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    I don't know if there's a limit. I had 63 signed up since I had both parents signed up for some kids and a few administrators.

    There is a new paid option. I'm not sure if I'm going to upgrade or keep the free version.
     
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  9. novaguy1968

    novaguy1968 MS English Educator

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    Have you seen this? https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1d-4PDAFtmTYymutoERe__oaxif-bF8gRyXzb0rkC2BM/edit
     
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  10. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    If you send a message on bloomz, can parents read it right there in the email or text, or do they have to click a link to view the message? I debated switching from email to class dojo for newsletters, but decided against it because they have to click to view the message on the website or app.
     
  11. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Phenom

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    It pops up like a text message on my phone.
     
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  12. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Oh, well that sounds great. I don't have my student list yet (I return Thursday), but we cap at 23, so it sounds like there shouldn't be a problem with how many parents can be added.
     
  13. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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  14. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    That's excellent! That's what I want. I think if it goes straight as a text, they will be more apt to read what I send out.
     
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  15. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I think so too. Having a link to click to view a message seems like an unnecessary barrier.
     
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  16. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Next question... Does anyone use this and class dojo? Our kids also have logins for reading and math, plus parents have access to the gradebook online. Do they have to create another username for Bloomz?
     
  17. bella84

    bella84 Fanatic

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    I just signed up for Bloomz last week after hearing about it on another thread. I've already used to set up home visit conferences with students' families. I set up the first round of conferences through email, and it is SO much easier doing it through Bloomz. There is a paid version, but I didn't see any additional features that would be very beneficial to me, at least in my first year of use, so I'm sticking with the free version for now. I will continue to use Remind, as well, but only because I had already told families about it before I learned about Bloomz. Parents can read the messages in the email or text that they receive, as well as logging in through the app/website. I don't use Class Dojo anymore, because I no longer use it as my behavior management system.
     
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  18. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    So when you initially set it up, how do you connect parents? Do you just need their email and you send them the link and a code? Or, how does that work?
     
  19. bella84

    bella84 Fanatic

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    Yes, there were a few options to do it: either automatically send them invites through an email address contact book (like Gmail - which is what my school uses), type in email addresses and send invites individually, or import a list of email addresses from a document stored on your computer.

    I opted to type them in and send them individually. This was more time-consuming than connecting through Gmail, but I think it's important to keep parent email addresses confidential (I usually use the Bcc option when sending emails). I tested the Bloomz invite beforehand with my own email addresses and learned that, if I used the Gmail option, it would allow each parent to see the email address of every other parent who was invited. Since I didn't want that, the only other way to do it was to send them one at a time (or two if they were a married couple - I assumed it was okay for them to see the other's email address).

    When you send the invites, it will send an email with a message to the parents, indicating to them what the invitation is for. Bloomz provides a standard message or you can customize it. It also gives them a link and to register their own account, automatically connected to your class.

    As an alternate option, I believe it was also possible to simply send out a link and code from your regular email (like you would with any mass email you send to parents). Then they could choose to go sign up and create an account from that. I opted to go through Bloomz because it seemed to me that they might be more likely to sign up that way, knowing that I had already added them to the class. All they had to do was click the link to accept.

    So far, I've only had two parents actually "join" the class, and I've had four parents use it to sign up for conferences. We're still three weeks away from school beginning, though, so I'm hoping that number will increase when the students are back in class.
     
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  20. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Oh, I think I will test it out and send it to my email too to see how it would look on both ends. Thanks for all that detailed information! I always get so nervous when I'm about to start something new like this. I don't like not knowing all the ends and outs because it makes it difficult to explain to the parents, but it also makes me worry that something might go wrong with it. It seems like it has the potential to be a fantastic tool that I don't want to not try it because I don't necessarily understand it, yet. Thanks again! I'm going to go do some testing with it now.
     
  21. bella84

    bella84 Fanatic

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    You're welcome!

    I have the same concerns as you! For that reason, I decided to use it primarily for sign-ups, announcements, and a class calendar this year. I turned off the parent-to-parent communication feature, and I don't plan to use the student portfolios this year. I doubt that I'll ever use the behavior feature, but it's possible I could change my mind down the road, I guess. I made sure that I deleted anything about those features when sending communication to parents. I don't want to overwhelm myself! If all goes well, I figure that I can always announce the features - particularly the portfolio feature - later in the year or try it next year.
     
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