Monday, March 30, 2015

Bloomz! It's the Bomb!

Recently, I was one of those lucky teachers who got to hop on a plane with a bunch of my coworkers and fly to a national conference.  This one happened to be a much needed shot in the arm for a myriad of reasons!  That isn't always the case so this was a welcome and pleasant surprise.  The conference was the American Montessori Society Annual Conference held in Philadelphia.  Lots of great things learned that I will share but one thing that really stood out was a visit with a vendor!

As we wove in and out of the vendor isles oohing and ahhing over all the great product that wouldn't fit into our suitcases we happened upon Chakrapani Appalabattula and his fabulous app Bloomz!  He greeted me with a smile and a quick question. "How do you communicate with parents?"  Not sure if he knew but this is something that I simultaneously love and hate as I search for new and better ways to streamline how I communicate with as many parents as possible.

I have used Facebook, Remind 101, Blogger, Three Ring, text and email to name a few electronic methods.  I've also used, calendars, take home folders, paper notes, weekly newsletters and stickers on t-shirts as old school methods.  It's Just. Too. Much.  So as I rattled off all these methods to Chaks (he immediately had us on a nickname basis cuz he's cool like that!) he grinned and waited patiently  until I ran out of breath and then he said, "I've got the answer!"  I'm a sucker for an app so I jumped all over it!

I was thrilled as I stood there and played but when I got back to my room and played some more I was blown away!  This covered all of it.  Calendar, Facebook, messaging, field trip sign ups, announcements, photographs, volunteer sign ups and more!  I have used it with my families for the last few weeks and we are encouraging teachers to use it school wide so that it can become the way our entire school communicates with families in the coming school year.  Feedback from families so far is great!

No more blogs, newsletters, Facebook, Remind101, etc!  Now families will find everything they need in one easy to maneuver spot and I will not feel like a crazy person while I try and remember if I posted everywhere I needed to!

Check it out!  It's FREE and FABULOUS!  www.bloomz.net

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