Saturday, August 17, 2013

Portfoliyo vs. Remind101: A New Way to Connect With Parents

I'm always looking out for new types of technology to use in the classroom. I especially like trying various things to connect with my students' parents. I used Remind101 last year. Many parents didn't understand how it worked and were hesitant to try it out. I had more students than anything sign up. They liked getting notifications about upcoming assignments.

I recently found Portfoliyo. I'm a member of Tioki, which is a site similar to LinkedIn but just for educators. Portfoliyo's setup is similar to Remind101. Send a text to a number, answer a few questions to get started, and bam you're set to get reminders.
Portfoliyo Signup Screen

The main difference between the two is that Remind101 doesn't have two way communication. You the teacher send out information. The parent receives it. It stops there. With Portfoliyo, you send out information and the parent can respond to your text. The parent can also respond to your text without you sending anything to them. They only need your special text number. This is a feature different than Remind101.
Dashboard in Portfoliyo

I can see Portfoliyo being especially useful for those parents that don't have email and it's hard to reach them on their phones. I'm pretty sure that the majority of my kids' parents have cell phones that can send and receive texts but they don't all have emails. I like the feature of the two way communication. With Portfoliyo, you login to their website and you can see any messages that you have waiting for you. You can invite other teachers and create groups.

Depending on what you need, I can see benefits to both applications. I would like to see an app for Portfoliyo. That would be beneficial to the teacher. Try them both out! They're great ways to add communication with your parents.
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