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How technology
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Author: Rose de Fremery

Even with good intentions and careful planning, teacher-parent communication sometimes hits a snag. When parents misunderstand teachers and vice versa, they have a harder time getting on the same page about a child's educational needs and how to best meet them. Here's a look at some of the logistical reasons communication between parents and teachers can be difficult, and how technology can help remove those obstacles.

Common causes of teacher-parent communication challenges

Teachers know it's important to keep parents and caregivers engaged in students' education throughout the school year. As studies have shown, increased family engagement can positively influence students' educational outcomes, including higher grades, better attendance and stronger motivation. Misunderstandings between family members and teachers can easily arise, however, especially when conversations can't take place in person.

For example, problems can suddenly crop up when it's difficult for a parent and teacher to hear one another on a call or a caregiver perceives that something is off in a teacher's tone of voice. A poor internet connection can also make it difficult to communicate during a videoconference, causing unnecessary anxiety and frustration that takes the focus off what matters most: the student.

Annoying glitches and crossed signals can quickly undermine the trust that's necessary for positive relationships between parents and teachers. Fortunately, technologies can help overcome these obstacles and clear a path toward better teacher-parent communication.

Technologies that support effective parent-teacher communication strategies

When parents and teachers can't meet face to face, videoconferencing platforms can add a crucial personal touch. With the ability to see one another's facial expressions and gestures, both parents and teachers can get a better read on what's being said and communicated through nonverbal cues. This helps improve communication and prevent misunderstandings, so everyone can comfortably discuss how the student's education is coming along and determine whether they would benefit from any additional support.

Teachers can also use tools like classroom management apps and learning management systems to implement effective parent-teacher communication strategies. By taking advantage of the education technology they already have in place, teachers can benefit from their familiarity with that technology, rather than grapple with learning newly adopted tools; the result is that they have a better chance of ensuring strong family engagement within platforms with which they are already familiar.

Sometimes, a simple phone call is the most intuitive option. Voice over IP (VoIP) solutions can be handy in this scenario, helping teachers connect with parents from a computer or mobile app, whether they're at school or on the go.

Reliable internet service makes effective teacher-parent communication possible

All of these parent-teacher communication strategies depend on reliable internet to run smoothly—especially videoconferencing. Video calls consume more bandwidth than other services, and they heavily rely on efficient network performance to deliver a glitch-free conversation. Without a robust network infrastructure in place, teachers may struggle to be heard and parents may end up unnecessarily frustrated when a connection suddenly freezes or drops.

Depending on their requirements, schools may want to consider dedicated internet connections or fast and flexible mobile wireless options that enable stress-free interactions between parents and teachers. This way, no matter which parent-teacher communication strategies they decide to pursue, they'll have the technology needed to ensure success.

Learn how Verizon's K-12 education solutions can help aid teacher-parent communication.