A recent survey by OneSignal found that nearly 70 percent of parents found that digital communication methods with educators and administrators was either less time consuming or about the same as phone or in-person meetings.

“The results of this survey show the incredible adaptability of our K-12 educators as well as parents in light of an extremely disruptive school year they’ve had due to a global pandemic,” said George Deglin, CEO of OneSignal. “The positive sentiment toward using digital communication tools to stay in touch sheds light on how schools can best utilize technology to facilitate parent-teacher and student-teacher engagement in the long run.”

OneSignal surveyed 1,000 total adults – aged 25 and up – with 80 percent being U.S.-based parents with children in school and with 20 percent being teachers or school administrators for K-12.

Additional key findings include:

  • 74 percent of educators/administrators found digital communications helped them stay in touch with parents;
  • Email was the most common digital communication methods for educators and administrators and 40 percent of respondents said they used push notifications or text messages;
  • Top three themes in the digital correspondence focused on general school updates/event reminders, COVID-related updates, and assignment/homework reminders;
  • 37 percent of parents of K-12 students surveyed said their children’s schools were completely virtual during the 2020-2021 and 35 percent had hybrid learning;
  • 70 percent of parents found their children’s teachers and school administrators effectively leveraged digital communication tools to stay in touch with them; and
  • Parents found that the most useful topics shared included general school updates and reminders, assignment and homework reminders, and academic progress and grading reports.

“This feedback indicates the value of digital communication tools like emails, push notifications, and text message alerts, while also shedding light on how K-12 schools can continue to leverage these digital tools post-pandemic once students are back in the classroom full-time,” the report said. “The results suggest that schools can help their teachers heighten engagement with parents and students outside of the classroom by offering a range of tools and allowing parents and students to choose the best channel for them as well as the option to select the content they prefer to receive.”

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is MeriTalk SLG's Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.