Given that 90 percent of families now use cellphones, educators across the country are experimenting with texting as a way to reach parents. Some schools are texting to deliver messages about school attendance. We don’t yet have research to show the efficacy of that approach. But in a blog post in Education Week, Harvard researchers Todd Rogers and Kim Bohling offered some tips for educators who text. Here are five take aways:
- Be specific. Text about a student’s absences versus the overall importance of attendance; if possible, suggest an action.
- Be personal. Use names and the right personal pronouns.
- Be brief. If your texts go longer than 160 characters they may break into two messages.
- Be strategic: Don’t bombard families with too many texts. Reserve them for the information you need to share.
- Be positive: Be sure to let families know when something is going right. That makes it a little easier when you’ve got bad news to deliver.