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October 13, 2023

4 AI Tools to Streamline Family Communication

Educators have been having lots of discussions about Artificial Intelligence (AI) this school year, from possibilities for innovation, personalization, and efficiency, to concerns about bias, inaccuracy, and academic integrity. 

However, there is one compelling use of AI that is widely supported–the ability to save teachers’ valuable time. There are so many ways that AI can streamline lesson planning, assessment creation, grading, and more. We’d like to highlight an additional area where AI can be a stellar teacher’s assistant, supporting communication with families! 

Check out Teaching Channel’s 4 top time-saving AI communication tools for teachers.

1. Wordtune

Wordtune is a free AI writing assistant that can save time when writing or revising emails to families, newsletters, and instructions for at-home activities. Enter a few details, and Wordtune will draft a polished piece of writing with all the information included. Modify to suit your needs, and you’re ready to click “send!”

The example below shows a field trip reminder email I created in seconds and the prompt I used:

And here is the email generated by Wordtune:

2. TalkingPoints

TalkingPoints is a nonprofit that is free for teachers and provides an AI-powered translator. Build strong partnerships by engaging with families in over 150 home languages using TalkingPoints with text messages, the app, or the web. To learn more, watch the TalkingPoints Introduction Video.

The image below from TalkingPoints shows the app in action.

3. MagicSchool AI

MagicSchool AI is specifically designed with teachers’ needs in mind! A one-stop-shop AI site for teachers, MagicSchoolAI offers lesson planning, assessment design, and other features in addition to communication tools. The image below shows options to streamline communication with families.

Another interesting way to use MagicSchool AI is Raina, a chatbot that is like an AI instructional coach. Raina has been trained on data to provide helpful suggestions for teachers.

4. ChatGPT

Generate scripts for challenging conversations with caregivers with ChatGPT. It can be nerve-wracking to call a family member or bring up a concern during family-teacher conferences. Creating a script to guide the conversation can help you feel more comfortable, and better prepared to address the issue with empathy and collaboration. You may also find Alice Keeler’s suggestions on her Teacher Tech blog helpful, “Prompts for Teachers to Ask ChatGPT: Interact with Parents.”

Navigating a conversation with a strained relationship can be challenging. Here’s a script for a 4th-grade teacher to address the issue of a child struggling to turn in work on time with a caregiver when the relationship is strained:

——

Teacher: Hello, this is [Your Name], [Student’s Name]’s 4th-grade teacher. How are you today?

Caregiver: Hello, [Your Name]. I’m fine, thank you. What do you want?

Teacher: I appreciate you taking the time to speak with me today. I wanted to discuss [Student’s Name]’s schoolwork. I know we’ve had challenges in the past, and I want to work together to support [him/her] better.

Caregiver: (Skeptical) Okay, go ahead.

Teacher: I’ve noticed that [Student’s Name] continues to struggle with turning in assignments on time. This is an ongoing issue that we need to address to help [him/her] succeed in class.

Caregiver: (Defensive) We’ve been through this before. I don’t know what you expect me to do.

Teacher: I understand your frustration, and I’m committed to finding a solution that works for all of us. [Student’s Name] is a bright student, and I believe that with the right support, [he/she] can overcome this challenge.

Caregiver: (Reluctant) Fine, but what do you want me to do now?

Teacher: One approach could be to work together to establish a routine and clear expectations at home for completing assignments. This might include setting aside specific times for homework and checking in to make sure [he/she] is on track. Additionally, I can provide extra support during class to help [Student’s Name] manage time more effectively.

Caregiver: (Slightly more receptive) I suppose we can give it a try.

Teacher: I appreciate your willingness to work together on this. If there are specific challenges or if you have any suggestions that could help [Student’s Name] succeed, please feel free to share them with me. I’m here to support [him/her].

Caregiver: (Nods) Alright, I’ll keep that in mind.

Teacher: Thank you for your cooperation. Our goal is to ensure that [Student’s Name] has a successful academic experience, and I believe that, together, we can make that happen. If you have any questions or concerns in the future, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Caregiver: (Slightly more open) Okay, we’ll see how it goes.

Teacher: Thank you for your understanding and willingness to work with me on this. I appreciate your commitment to [Student’s Name]’s education. Have a good day.

Caregiver: You too, [Your Name]. Goodbye.

Teacher: Goodbye, and take care.

——

ChatGPT also provided the following explanation: “This script acknowledges the strained relationship and attempts to maintain a positive and cooperative tone throughout the conversation. It focuses on finding practical solutions to the student’s difficulties while showing empathy and understanding towards the caregiver’s perspective.”

We’ve provided some exciting AI tools to enhance and save time in your communication workflow with families. As always when using AI, please remember to review the content generated for accuracy, and edit to add your personal touch.

Once science fiction, AI technologies are increasingly embedded in our lives. Whether this fills you with excitement or trepidation, AI literacy is essential for all educators, and Course 5286: Unlocking the Potential of Artificial Intelligence in Education will be your virtual assistant along the way! Discover how to personalize learning with adaptive technologies and inform instruction with AI-powered assessment while preparing students to understand and use AI responsibly in this graduate-level, continuing education course.

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