Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, I have noticed an exponential increase in the communication flow between students, parents, and teachers. While remote learning presented many challenges, it boosted the demand for parent-teacher communication and created new business opportunities. Some EdTech companies offering such communication channels have also gone through years of business growth in a few months. Witnessing this booming business, I began to ponder how critical parent-teacher communication is to student success and how it can unlock business opportunities for many EdTech companies.
Benefits of Parent-Teacher Communication
Effective communication builds respectful relationships between teachers, parents, and students, allowing them to work together and establish a thriving classroom.
When parents are engaged, students are more likely to achieve academic success as they can receive personal attention and support at home. Research and studies have found a statistically significant association between parent involvement and a child’s academic performance, over and above the impact of the child’s intelligence. By supporting their studies and providing additional assistance with homework, parents help their children develop important learning habits at home with additional level of accountability.
Educators also benefit from parent-teacher communication, as engaged parents serve as valuable assets, especially in the online learning environment. Through effective communication, educators can cultivate a collaborative relationship with parents, who will continue to provide support and guidance to students beyond the classroom. As engaged parents make education a known value at home, teachers may also see higher attendance rates, assignment completion rates, and higher scores.
Effective parent-teacher communication also benefits parents, providing more visibility into their child’s school life and which subject areas they may be struggling with. Engaged parents can then provide tailored guidance and supplementing content to support their children. After all, over 90% of a child’s life is spent at home from birth through high school. Parents will always play the biggest role in a child’s growth and development. The more informed parents can be from communication with teachers, the more they can contribute to students’ success.
Business Impact on Tutoring Providers
The EdTech companies that chose to integrate teacher-parent communication channels witnessed rapid business growth since Covid-19.
Reinforce students with parent-teacher collaboration
ClassDojo, a school communication platform that connects teachers with students and parents, is used in 95% of U.S. schools and has 51 million users across 180 countries. The platform allows teachers to send direct messages to parents, share lessons or announcements, and assign classwork to students. Students can also showcase their learning by creating digital portfolios filled with photos and videos, while receiving encouragement from teachers and their parents for all their hard work.
By enabling communication among different education stakeholders, fostering a collaborative relationship between teachers and parents, and rewarding students’ positive actions, ClassDojo has achieved great business success. The platform saw exponential usage growth and also successfully converted hundreds of thousands of free users to paying subscribers, tripling its revenue in 2020.
Increase stickiness with communication and after-school tutoring
Remind is another popular app that enables the communication between schools and homes. Educators can send text messages to students and parents for updates and instructions and engage both parties via audio calls in real-time. Over 2 million teachers, both in K12 schools and higher education institutions use the app to share content every month. In the U.S, Remind is used by over 80% of public schools and more than 500 million messages are delivered every year via its platform.
Remind also offers Coaching, which further supports parents by providing video-based online tutoring sessions for their children who need academic help. Parents can sign their children up for a one-on-one chat with a certified teacher, who will provide personalized guidance to homework problems. This offering both increases the stickiness of the app and unlocks upselling opportunities, allowing Remind to fully capture parents’ demand.
Boost product usage while promoting partner solutions
By recognizing the power of teacher-parent communication, EdTech company Clever achieved great synergies with its core product offerings. Recently acquired by Kahoot!, Clever is one of the most widely used digital learning platforms in the K12 space. Used by 65% of U.S. K12 schools and over 22 million students and teachers, Clever offers a single sign-on platform where students only need to log into its front-end interface to access all the different apps and navigate all the content available without leaving the platform.
Recently, Clever launched Family Portal, which allows direct communication between parents and teachers via text messages. In addition to receiving updates and notifications from teachers, parents also gain visibility on students’ learning progress and activities from over 600 applications that partner with Clever. As parents explore learning resource and tools from the Family Portal, Clever also successfully drives product usage of its partners’ outside of school.
Build Your Own Teacher-Parent Communication Portal
Seeing the business success of these EdTech companies, I believe there is tremendous value and synergy to embedding a teacher-parent communication portal in your application. Adding this communication function can further enhance your product offerings, improve customer satisfaction, and ultimately lead to students’ academic success. As there is an increased demand for communication spurred by the COVID-19, it is a great time for every education provider to consider building their own parent-teacher communication channel that allows for real-time conversation between the two of the most important stakeholders in a students’ life.
Striving to empower human connection through real-time engagement, Agora provides the building blocks that enable voice calls and real-time messaging to enable communication between educators, parents, and students. With our flexible SDKs and extensive APIs, developers can build a fully customizable and branded communication portal that’s accessible anywhere, on any device. To learn more about our education solutions and best practices, please visit our Education webpage or talk to us.