Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Helpful Tips for Using Homeroom App

Share photos with parents using Homeroom. This Instagram style tool is for closed groups of people, such as parents of students in a particular class. 

Last year our specials teachers used it throughout the year. This year the primary classroom teachers are starting to pick it up. Based on my experience, here are a few suggestions to get the most out of this helpful tool:
  • Focus on the learning, not the student. The reason for the photo is not to make mom proud but to share what wonderful things all your students are learning.
  • Post fewer photos with better captions. Use the captions to explain what is not obvious in the photo.
  • Don't try to capture every student, but do mix it up. Focus on small groups rather than individuals, or create a collage of individuals.
  • Try action shots. While seat work is probably the most exciting time in your students' day, parents like to see projects, activities and events.
  • Remember to capture odd moments: recess, lunch, lining up. Look for the moments throughout the day.
  • Don't over post. Elementary teachers could start out with one photo per day. Specials teachers could post one per class. If every teacher posts one photo per day, parents will receive half a dozen images. Don't overwhelm parents with lots of photos to sort through. Remember the message you are sending (it's about the learning).
  • Manage who has access. It's not about public display. Limit access to only parents. This gives you a specific audience and allows you to tailor the information to their interests.
  • Did I mention focus on the learning, not the student?