HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- As students head back to class, there are many technological advances that are changing the game in the way teachers interact with parents and students.
Lauren Tucker, a professor at the University of St. Joseph, is a teacher of teachers.
One of her missions as a professor is educating teachers in her graduate class on the most current technological teaching tools they can use in their own classrooms.
An app called “Remind” is a favorite.
"So, ‘Remind’ is an app that teachers can use with their students and also their parents,” Tucker said.
From the ‘Remind’ dashboard, a teacher can send out messages about what's gone on in class to the parents of all the students, to a smaller group of parents, or to the parents of just one student.
Parents get to choose whether they want to receive and reply to these messages by text, by email, or both.
"It allows you to do text, attach images, or attach files. So, for example, if a teacher in second grade wanted to share an example of an assignment that their class was doing for parents, you can upload a picture of a finished assignment and then you can add a link to the assignment description as well,” Tucker said.
Another example is if a child is out sick. Tucker said, “It can be something where a parent can contact a teacher to say ‘my student was out, can you give me some more information about this assignment’.”
Another popular app is called "Seesaw.”
“Seesaw can be used to show a student's learning,” Tucker said.
A teacher will send out a notification inviting students and parents to sign up and download the app or login via email.
Once in, as work is done in class, parents and students are notified to check it out, and read the teacher's comments about it.
"So, this is Lilly’s journal. And so, as a parent, you can see that Seesaw has a notification here and then I can see what Lilly added to her journal. I can see the video,” Tucker explained.
The final app is called "Class Dojo,” which is popular with elementary school-aged kids because it turns them into avatars.
“This tool allows teachers to provide positive behavior enforcement. So, every student has a little monster avatar, which is very motivating. And what teachers can do is as a student is behaving positively in class, they award them points,” Tucker said.
The students see the points projected on the board in the classroom, and parents see them on their own phones.
“So it really helps to create that conversation at home to say 'wow, I saw that you earned lots of participating points today. Tell me about your day’,” Tucker said.
She added that Class Dojo is designed to reinforce positive behavior.