School to Home Communication - Online?

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by teachersk, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Jan 11, 2009

    Does anyone have any ideas for me on a way to do school to home communication via the internet?

    It would need to be some sort of secure site where I could log in, post updates, etc. and the parents could log in to see the info (and there would be a way that I could see that they read it).

    1. I'm feeling like I Want to be more eco-friendly and writing out 6 full pages (1 per student) per day, seems like SO much.
    2. I never have time at the end of the day to give a full run down on how the day went. On rushed days, the parents might get a note that says which assistant their child worked with, and that they "had a great day today." If I had time to do it (via the internet) after the kids left, the notes would be much more comprehensive.
    3. I think some parents don't read my notes (signatures are missing from the daily notes) and an internet version might make them more likely to look at them because it's accessible from work (the next day) or while they're reading their e-mails, etc. I guess I could technically send e-mails but I don't feel like that's "secure" enough confidentiality-wise.
    4. I would love it if there was a way to enter data (like more than just a comment box) so the parents could see how their kids did that day with their IEP goals... but more importantly I would love for the parents to be able to "post" or "ask" questions based on my comments. I feel like this would open up the doors for communication for the parents.

    I would obviously have to check and see if the parents all have internet access, but in this day and age, I think it's pretty uncommon to not have internet access (either at work, library, or home).

    It'd be so cool if I could have a log of how many times parents viewed their childs "reports" as well. This would be great for IEP meetings, etc. Especially for the parents who "push" and "shove" for "daily communication" to be written into their child's notebook, yet they never seem to read it.

    I used engrade (gerry-rigged) to enter data for IEP goals last year - and it worked nicely. But, there is no section for comments, or writing, and there is no way for the parents to log in.

    I'm obviously looking for something free - but if someone knows something that fits the bill and it's not free, I'd still like to look into it.

    What do you guys think? Any suggestions?

    I guess even just an online gradebook with parent access--- with an option to write comments (daily reports) would work.

    The more I could customize it, the better. I feel like this would be pretty popular if I designed it. Maybe I have a business idea. Some sort of home to school communication for parents of special ed kids... the icons and everything would be in Boardmaker so the parents could look at it with their kids.... Now I'm just going overboard.
     
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  3. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    Jan 11, 2009

    I was just thinking the same thing. I don't like Engrade because it freezes up and my grades get lost! I just found teacherease.com yesterday. You can put in notes for each student that parents can view daily. There are a lot of things useful for special educators there including being able to do checklists of standards you enter (so you can enter IEP goals). You can also automatically email a parent when an assignment is late or missing.

    It's free for a year if you are one of the first three teachers at your school using it. I'm going to try it out. I would, however, subscribe to a service like yours if it was available and affordable. Right now I have to write everything in their planners or emails and it gets a little tiring.
     
  4. Chokita

    Chokita Comrade

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    Jan 11, 2009

    My school has a website that has Classroom pages for each teacher. There we can post notes and upload files (pictures, memos, homework, etc) and send emails to the whole class, but you can't send individual notes there, it's for general information about what's going on in the classroom, about upcoming events etc.
     
  5. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Jan 11, 2009

    Yeah, I'm more interested in updates about the school day (as you would write in a communication notebook home) that only the individual parents have access to.
     
  6. Teach96

    Teach96 Comrade

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    Jan 11, 2009

    there is something out there and its FREE! I used it for a homeschool student so that we didn't spend time at the end of our session debriefing mom and so that all the service providers could read daily notes since we all worked with him on different days and at different schools during the day.

    It's on google and you use their google docs.

    We set up a spread sheet that had had 3 columns: our name, position and then place for comments

    Everyone needs an email address and log in to the google docs page, so our district felt it was secure since you had to log into the site.

    You can sign up to be notified each time someone logs on/posts or you can get an end of day summary of what has happened on the site.

    I liked it but it wasn't perfect but worked for us and it was nice since mom could email us if he wasn't up for services that day and since I was the daily teacher in the afternoon, I got an immediate email telling me that our session was canceled as did my supervisor.
     

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