Class Messenger by Learn Anything began in the Spring of 2013. What was once described by the app makers as “clunky” is now, in my opinion, the best option for optimizing parent/teacher communication? It feels as if the app makers have crawled into the head of every teacher and pulled out all the features that they wanted but never knew could exist. Perhaps this is because this app boasts taking its customer suggestions seriously. Class Messenger to the rescue!
Class Messenger is a free app, available in iOS and Google and can be found online at classmessenger.com. The users of Remind will find some similarities between the two programs. However, Class Messenger offers significant additional features. When you sign into Class Messenger, you will be asked to specify your role; parent, teacher, or student. Every participant must create an account in Class Messenger. Once an account has been created, you can create or join a class. Parents wanting to join your class can search for your class by your name or a class code. The ability to search by class name is a friendly feature eliminating the need for parents or students to remember a complicated class code. Parents can choose to receive updates through text messages or emails.
Once teachers have created an account, their options are truly outstanding.
- The app allows teachers to communicate with parents and students without giving access to their personal information.
- There is no text limit! Type and send as much as you want.
- Attach documents and pictures—send your weekly newsletter digitally, send digital copies of spelling words or homework.
- You can schedule messages to automatically send at a future date and you can set the messages to send repeatedly if they are not opened or read.
- Messages can be sent to an individual, a small group, or the entire group.
- You can get delivery reports for the recipients who receive your messages through email.
As if these features were not enough, there are LOTS more and these are the BEST ONES!
- SURVEYS can be sent. Pizza day tomorrow and you need to know if your kids prefer pepperoni or cheese? Send a survey.
- Create an ORDER FORM Need to know shirt sizes for Field Day shirts? No problem. Have an author visiting your school and have several books for sale? Parents can order books through Class Messenger.
- Need to know which students will attend a school function? Send a GROUP MEETING message and find out immediately who will come and who can’t.
- Parent/Teacher Conference Time? You need to send a TIMESLOT MEETING message. Create a list of available dates and times, allow parents to sign-up for a time that works for them, and once that slot is full no one else can sign up for it. The teacher will get a cumulative list of the meeting dates and time and who signed up for each.
- VOLUNTEER messages are yet another great feature offered. Have a long list of jobs for a school event and you need people to fill them? This is the feature for you. It works similarly to the Timeslot Meeting option.
- Donation requests can also be sent. Letting parents know you need 5 types of apples for Johnny Appleseed Day has never been easier.
All these features make the app a little confusing to use and bulky. Sometimes, finding the appropriate place to tap can be hard to locate. However, don’t let this stop you. It’s worth the effort. Class Messenger is powerful! Don’t let this amazing app pass you or your families by.
Katie Chirhart is a National Board Certified Teacher and has been teaching for sixteen years. She has specializations in early childhood and reading. She began her career in College Station, TX teaching a full inclusion pre-kindergarten class. Currently, Katie lives and works in Shreveport, LA. After spending ten years teaching third grade, she now teaches in an elementary iPad Lab. When time allows, she enjoys working with teachers far and wide sharing the wonders of technology. Her current job is a dream come true.