Inclusion - a real need (and a possibility) in the classrooms

Avneesh Kumar
December 13, 2017

Newsletters are one of the very first founding features Schoolze started with, and soon after the launch, these became very engaging for parents as they provided consistent updates to parents. Then earlier this year, they became inclusive. Now they are becoming double inclusive.

Inclusion is a use case that has been long advocated for many years in US classrooms and in schools to boost parental engagement. Here is a beautiful story on how our journey of inclusion begun.

In a 2016 Schoolze classroom, a middle-eastern parent did not know English and remain out of Schoolze for 3-4 months into the school. At this point, we just started building our measurement framework for engagement and newly learned about the importance of classroom communication being inclusive and considerate of different ethnicity and demographics of school families.

So to solve the problem of this parent, we built a translation feature into Schoolze newsletters and made it support translation into 90+ languages. Translation became an instant hit, and parents started trying it just to have fun with their second (or first) languages.

It came as a substantial relief for families like the abovementioned classroom as now they now could directly engage and know what teacher is trying to convey from the school.

While we were learning more from our users on what else we can do to make the system more inclusive, the best feedback came from a nearby school district where many parents were a recent immigrant who couldn’t read in any language but could talk Spanish fluently and could somewhat understand spoken English.

This was when we started experimenting with the text-to-audio feature, and I’m happy to announce that we have just implemented a beta of the feature and it worked flawlessly. We will soon make it live and Schoolze newsletters will be able to read themselves in male and female voices and in ~13 languages, in addition to translating them into 90+ languages.

We feel fortunate that what we have built is impacting lives of thousands of parents positively, making them more engaged in the schools. We continue to explore education research and implement features that directly impact classroom families.

If you are a Schoolze user and have any feedback on any of the elements that can be made better, please send that here or email us at features@schoolze.com

Topics: School Parental Engagement Family-community Engagement Inclusion Classroom