Weekly newsletters: Effective communication in the classroom



We are navigating through such challenging times that a lot of administrators, teachers and parents are so stressed that some of them are dealing already with some mental health issues. In this blogpost, we are going to cover the importance of communication to reduce the anxiety and frustration that a lot of these professionals and families are suffering.


Several anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and specific phobias, share a common underlying trait: increased sensitivity to uncertain threat, or fear of the unknown, report researchers. – University of Illinois at Science Daily

Effective communication helps to reduce uncertainty and the feeling of lack of control over things that produce anxiety and stress to many people. The fear of the unknown is all over the place in many classes across the five continents, teachers that don’t know what is coming for them, students that feel strange in this new reality and parents that don’t know what is going on in the children’s classes.


Parents want to know what is going on in the class and how they can support their students at home during the remote learning days or after school.


A good parent-teacher relationship provides the mechanism for the teacher to invite, and support, the parents’ active participation in the child’s education in the home environment. And it can provide the link between classroom learning activities and at-home learning activities. - Sandra B. Loughran, Dowling College, USA at Journal of College Teaching & Learning–August 2008Volume 5, Number 8

Parents were an important part of the learning journey of their children before and since the COVID19 outbreak and the transition of many institutions to a remote or hybrid model parents became part of our classes and an invaluable tool for teachers to reach their students at home


Parents are not the only ones who suffer from uncertainty and fear of the unknown during these challenging times. Many changes are made weekly by administrators to adapt their campuses to the new reality that teachers live in an infinity loop of change. Teachers need to know the differences changes in the district policy or guidelines to adapt their practice effectively and be ready to provide quality education to students.


In this blogpost, we are going to cover four tools to create online newsletters that can be used weekly to enhance the communication and the teacher-parent relationship and administrator-teacher relationship.



Wakelet

“Wakelet is the easiest way to capture, organize and share multi-media resources with students, teachers, and learning communities”

Wakelet is a great tool to create a newsletter because you can add any link that you want to share with your audience. Also, it has a great way to organize their content by creating different titles and subtitles.


Wakelet is a great resources to add multi-media resources such videos or pictures of examples of student works or best practices for teachers.

Also, the readers of the newsletter can access all the content by just clicking in the different links you attach. Really user-friendly.


You can check this blogpost from Wakelet to learn more about newsletters on their platform and get some examples from different teachers and administrators.


This is an example of how a Wakelet newsletter looks like:



Sway

Sway is a Microsoft tool that is part of the Office 365 space. Sway is easy to use. A great possibility for beginners or no techy professionals.

Sway has many great integrations with different O365 tools, for example, you can pull a file from One Drive directly from your newsletter. Also, if you company or school has O365 licenses Sway has a fantastic way to share it links across many Microsoft tools making very easy to send out the link of your newsletter.

One of the greatest features that make Sway a wonderful choice for weekly communication is its look on mobile and tablets. Sway is mobile friendly which gives parents and professionals the opportunity to open it anywhere and anytime.


In Sway you can change the style of your newsletter or select Remix and have the AI of Sway do it for you

This in an example of how a Sway newsletter looks like:




Adobe Spark

With Spark’s tools, your newsletter can be customized in a variety of ways to generate more exposure for your brand. Make your newsletter a part of a video about your brand or organization, or adapt its content for a slideshow. Your newly designed newsletter template can be updated for each new issue, and your theme and other customizing options can be changed at any time.


Adobe Spark as every other Adobe product is focused on creating stunning visual stories. The power of this tool is to make beautiful everything you do on it. By using all the built-in features of this tool, you will be able to create well-organized and pretty newsletters.


You can change the design of your newsletter, add pictures and icons and select many fonts to highlight your text.




Do you want to learn more about how to create newsletters with Adobe Spark? Check this blogpost.




Genially

Genial.ly is an online software that allows you to create “interactive resources” such as presentations, infographics, resumes, guides, dossiers, panels / posters, microsites, etc.) without programing knowledge.

Genially creates interactive presentations or microsites where your audience can navigate and get information by clicking on links, pictures, icons and more.



Genially allow the author to create four different type of interactivity:


Its endless interactivity possibilities is what makes Genially a great tool to design a newsletter. You can include from videos and pictures of your students or teachers working to a pop up window that give parents or teacher information about upcoming events.


Also, you can create different slides to organize your different sections.

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