Over the summer I took the time to do some Professional Development, but not all of it was in the teaching world. I always encourage my students to look beyond the classroom for tips and that is exactly what I did. I learned so much from the business world, for my blog, but I couldn’t help but to think of how to use some business tools in your classroom. Although I use the school based email settings, I know there are many teachers who may not have access and/or want to try something new. I can’t think of a better format than Mailchimp!
Mailchimp is as dynamic email tool that allows you to integrate many different things within your email, but remains easy to use. What I love about it is the drag and drop format and the ability to add video, pictures, and links with the click of the button. Of course there are a million ways to think about how to use it, but how can you do this in your classroom?
Teachers, if you send a newsletter, Mailchimp offers multiple newsletter templates. As a parent, I can’t think of a cooler way to see your newsletter than straight to my inbox! This could allow you to go more paperless and track analytics of who is opening and how effective it truly is. Have parents sign up from your website, blog, or send a link through Remind. Once parents have subscribed, you are able to send your newsletter to the email they choose. Want to get even more creative? Use a theme and see how they love it!!
Another great thing about Mailchimp is the extensive analytics. As a blogger, I appreciate these things just for the click-through and to see what is working and what isn’t. I can get amazing information that you can use to tweak and make your newsletter better week after week.
Don’t send a newsletter? Maybe you’d like to share information within your school! Last year, I started a weekly tech tip newsletter for teachers and it did extremely well. Why? I was able to reach many teachers, in my building or not, with the click of a button. Sharing a link connected us beyond the world of twitter and created an environment of sharing.
Another way to use Mailchimp is creating courses that you can time as people join. Through automation administrators, trainers, or other teachers can have timed messages to teach others virtually. Have a professional development you believe would best be served as the person gets more acquainted? Try automation! With limitless ways to time and automate messages, you can continue to build and support teacher initiatives after professional development is completed.
How long will it take to do all of this? If you have a cell phone or tablet, it isn’t going to take you as long as you may think; Mailchimp has your back! With their mobile app, you can manage your lists and create from the palm of your hand. Whether you’re an Android or iPhone user, the app is easy to use and can offer you a way to continuously flip your classroom and share information with ease.
Most wouldn’t think to use tools like Mailchimp in the education world, but my thought is why not? Although it is not meant for education, we are innovators! It may not have been created for us, but it can facilitate the change we want to occur. Using it as a personal, incremental, and in regards to implementation of systematic change we are aiming at through professional development. Don’t be afraid to make it your own, technology is a multi-use and faceless tool…it’s yours!!!
P.S. If you’re a visual learner, this video from Erin Wing will help guide you through the process of getting your first newsletter to the inbox of your parents and READ!
Do you use tools meant for the business world in your classroom?
What works for you?