Updated: Oct 27, 2018
We asked a second grade teacher to share one way she keeps the parents of her students up-to-date on what's happening in her classroom. She answered, "The Homeroom App."
Homeroom is a free app from developer Cluster Labs for either iOS (iPads or iPhones) or Android (tablets or phones) that allows you to share private classroom albums with the parents of your students. Once you open an account and create an album, you can post photos, videos and comments to your Homeroom timeline feed. Invite your parents to join via email or text (they will need to download the app as well) and voilà! They're connected to your classroom. You decide whether or not to give parents the ability to comment or even post content in your album. There isn't a whole lot of flexibility when it comes to features, but that's honestly what my wife liked about Homeroom. "One and done" beats being frustrated by too many features.
PROS: It's a very simple app. It can also be used to share notices or announcements with the parents of your students and generally allow you to keep them informed of the fun and learning that's happening in your classroom, because parents get alerts whenever you post anything. You can use it on a device or go the Homeroom website and log into your account from any desktop computer.
CONS: See the first sentence the paragraph above. Homeroom does not allow editing of photos or videos, although you can delete them. This is not really for sharing your students' work or communicating too extensively with parents, but it you want a simple, easy to use way to share photos, videos and messages in a closed and private group, invite parents to your Homeroom.