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Saturday, January 9, 2016

A Better Way to Communicate with Teachers




I had a work day when I got back to school, and the first thing on my list was to communicate with our teachers about dates, schedules, and new books. I created a Tackk before the holidays rather than just a plain ol' email, and it got 62 views in about 8 hours! Considering I only sent the link to our teachers and staff, and we only have 27 classroom teachers, I think it was a success. I decided that this is how I will communicate with my teachers weekly.  

What is a Tackk? I’m glad you asked!




A Tackk is an online newsletter. More accurately, Tackk says it is a “place to connect with friends, be creative and have fun conversations.” I don’t use it that way at all. I create newsletters in which I embed photos, text, and links, then send the link to the Tackk to teachers or parents or to teachers to send to parents. I haven't tried video yet, but I might do that soon. I was required to follow 2 people when I installed the app on my iPad (I usually create on the PC), but I unfollowed as soon as I could.


It is free, easy, colorful, and eye-catching, and looks so much better than bulletted or (worse) rambling emails. Did I mention EASY? Really easy: click, type, upload photos, add links, no problem! Tons of templates, fonts, and colors. The biggest hangup that I have is that the photos can only be two sizes: big or bigger. Sometimes I’d like a photo on the side, but that’s ok. Did I mention it's FREE?


Here is an example of what I sent to teachers the week before our winter break:




I am really trying hard to curate what I need to communicate to teachers and send it out in one catchy, colorful, short newsletter a week, thus eliminating the random and numerous emails throughout the week. I hope that by doing this, my emails will get more attention and be more affective. You can try Tackk here:

I have also used smore.com, which I LOVE!






There are some differences in the way you build your newsletter. Smore is specifically for online newsletters, not a social site. I don't use it right now because you need a membership after the first five newsletters, and I blew through those pretty quickly. There is an educator’s account, so it may be worth staying with that site if you like it. I have already spent too much of my budget this year, but try it for yourself and see which you prefer.


I have created a Smore about an event then tweeted the newsletter URL. Then teachers retweeted me and we reached even more parents. The metrics are easy to view and understand, and I got good coverage with the Storybook Pumpkin flyer above.


Try either Tackk.com or smore.com and let me know what you think!
place to connect with friends, be creative and have fun conversations.

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