How to use text messaging in education

text messaging educationTo keep education running smoothly, good communication is key. Not only does the communication between teacher and student need to be concise and timely, but so too does communication between staff, administration, and parents.

Regardless of the level of education—whether we’re talking about K-12 or post-graduate studies—text messaging in education can be a helpful way to enhance the way we communicate. With better back and forths often comes more efficiency, less frustration, and more clarity overall. 

Emails are often missed, phone calls can be too time consuming when there are large groups of people to notify about an issue, and both of those means of communicating are easily ignored. In fact, only about 20 percent of emails are ever read, which means trying to reach parents this way or organize faculty via email could be difficult and time consuming.

Text messages, on the other hand, have a near-perfect read rate at 98 percent. In other words, when you text, you can almost guarantee that your message will be read. Delivering information with that guarantee means education can stay as efficient as possible.

Text messaging in education can improve communication between faculty members and staff. It can hasten frictionless conversations between teachers, administration, and parents. It can be used to send alerts to large groups of people, and it can even connect teachers with their students to engage them more in the class material.

Here are some examples of how text messaging in education can be used practically, inside the classroom and beyond:

 

Parent teacher conference bookings

Using SMS software allows teachers to reach parents through centralized text messaging (and not requiring them to use their personal phone, which is not recommended). It’s more efficient and effective for booking parent/teacher meetings and reminding them about upcoming due dates and issues that might require a parent’s attention.

Hi Parents! It’s almost time for parent teacher conferences. Meetings will be held on Thursday, Nov 2 and Friday, Nov 3. Click on our booking link to request a time that works for you: bookaconference.com/midlandschool. Looking forward to seeing you soon! — Ms. Rhimes, Grade 5

 

Parent teacher updates

Parents can be kept informed about daily classroom work and homework easily and transparently if the teachers have the ability to send text messages to the parents of their students. This could be especially important for teachers who are leading virtual lessons.

Hi Parents! This is just an update on our classwork today. We are working on our times tables, and I asked students to complete this online worksheet before tomorrow to get some practice in. Thanks for your help and encouragement! Here’s the worksheet: schoolworksheets.com/timestables 

 

Last-minute cancelations

For higher education, text messages can be a great way to let students know that a class has been unexpectedly cancelled—without having to use your personal phone to do so.

Hi students! Due to today’s snow, I won’t be able to make it in today, and we’ll have to cancel class. Due dates for your final projects are still on schedule. See you next week! 

 

Summer engagement

Engaging with students is often important in higher education to keep enrollment numbers up and make sure they’re enjoying their decision. Text messages can be a great way to reach students to engage them outside the classroom.

Hi [name], we’re excited to see you on August 20 for Bridgerton College first year orientation. Reply C to confirm your attendance, and get ready to meet your classmates and professors, and have a little fun 🎉 Looking forward to seeing you soon! (P.S., we ask that all students, faculty, and staff wear a mask whenever they're in indoor public spaces on campus, per our school policy.) 

 

Urgent message blasts

Weather and other issues can cause school delays and cancellations, and it’s important to keep parents, staff, and students informed in the most efficient and effective way possible. 

Due to heavy snowfall overnight, Shonda High School will be closed today. We will be in touch about possible closures for the rest of the week. Thanks for your understanding.

 

Employee communications

Keep employees engaged through text messages you know they’re likely to read, rather than via email or phone calls.

Faculty, this is a reminder to update your virtual office hours on our new How to Get Away with Scheduling app. Students will be able to book meetings with you through the app for the duration of the school year. Reply to this text message with HELP for technical issues or questions.

 

Surveys

Surveys to students, teachers, parents, staff—they’re always a great way to get feedback to include in reports or make adjustments for going forward. Text messages are the ideal way to deliver surveys, since they have a response rate of 45 percent. (That’s much higher than any other communication channel.)

Teachers, thank you for another great year! Please take a moment to fill out this short questionnaire so we can prepare even better for next year: Greyschoolofanatomy.com/survey.

 

Events

Why not reach out about upcoming events via SMS? Messages are less likely to get lost in inboxes and invitations are less likely to be ignore.

Hi [name], we hope you’ll be able to attend the annual fundraiser on March 10th. Please reply if you’re able to make it so we can make sure we have enough chairs. Call or message Olivia P. with questions, bake sale items, or booth sponsorships: (555)123-1919

 

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