Google Classroom has a fairly limited set of features for parents and guardians. There is no “guardian portal” for Google Classroom. The primary workflow for parents to learn about Google Classroom activity–short of “masquerading” as their student–is to sign up for guardian summaries, which are an email digest of missing work, upcoming work, and class announcements.
Guardian summaries are enabled by teachers at the teacher’s discretion; if teachers choose not to turn them on, guardians have no other way of opting into a summary.
The appeal of these summaries is clear: parents want to know what assignments their student is missing, and what is due next. In fact, our internal research at Schoolytics has found that parents care most about missing assignments and helping their children stay on top of their homework.
But for many, guardian summary emails have quickly gone the way of spam. Because you can’t engage with the body of the summary itself (nothing is clickable), it’s just too easy to ignore them.
The Schoolytics approach to “guardian summaries” take two forms:
- Self-service: We offer a guardian portal where parents can get a clearer view of what their students have been working on, what’s missing, and what’s coming up in Google Classroom. Even without logging into Google Classroom, parents can get a good overview of whether their child is falling behind. In the portal, parents can also set up their own email notifications to track progress for specific parameters that they care about.
- Teacher-driven: Teachers use Schoolytics to email students and guardians about missing work and assignment completion. This sounds a lot like the Google Classroom guardian summaries, but these emails come directly from teachers, with hyperlinks (for students) to direct them to assignments. This can make all the difference.
At Schoolytics, we’re thinking a lot about how to engage and inform guardians about students’ academic progress at a level not seen before. What would the world of learning look like if guardians knew where their children were excelling, and where they were struggling, every day of the school year? And if they knew what actions to take to support them? Imagine the possibilities!
Want to learn more about how Schoolytics can help engage parents and guardians in your district? Let’s chat.