Communication in schools is broken. Because of this teachers are overwhelmed. Parents are less involved and students are underachieving. Currently schools use a hodgepodge of paper notices, phone calls, emails, and in person contact to share information with parents and students, but this approach is riddled with problems…
Papers get lost. E-mails don’t get checked. Phone calls take too long. Teachers are overwhelmed. Parents are less involved. Students aren’t achieving. Everyone is frustrated.
A new communication tool called Kiku solves the problems faced by traditional forms of communication, by allowing schools to safely and easily engage with their constituents through text messaging. Teachers use Kiku’s web app to send and receive messages, while parents and students use their cell phones.
Kiku optimizes text messaging for education in several ways:
Safe: personal cell numbers are never shared between teachers and students
Secure: all conversations conducted through Kiku are documented
Instant: messages are sent and received instantaneously
Organized: educators are able to message one student or the entire school effortlessly
With 96% of the U.S. population owning a cell phone and 73% of those people sending and receiving text messages on a regular basis, it’s safe to say that most people are comfortable communicating in this way.
Kiku is a communication tool built for educators. It allows educators to safely and easily communicate with students and parents via text message. The teacher adds their classes to Kiku, which creates a unique code for each student. The codes are distributed to students and/or parents who then text the code in to Kiku’s phone number. Once a student/parent is signed up, they can now send and receive messages to/from the teacher!
Students and parents do not see the teacher’s number. Kiku allows educators to avoid using their personal phones. Students and Parents will only see Kiku’s phone number. Kiku is a closed and secured messaging system that is completely safe to use. No personal phone numbers are shared and all messaging history is saved, and readily accessible.
In the past, teachers, students, and parents have communicated through the use of paper, email, phone calls, and in person contact, but every school and every teacher has different procedures and preferences for communicating. Most often it’s complicated, inefficient, unreliable and time consuming for everyone involved. Kiku was built to address all of these problems. It’s easy (for everyone) to use. It’s instant. It’s safe. And it’s built for both mass AND individual communication.
Students and parents can sign up by texting in their individual signup code, which is distributed by the teacher, to Kiku’s phone number. (e.g. Text 11-11ABC to 818-794-7165). Students and parents then can message a teacher by beginning their message with the teacher’s username.
The service is free for teachers and standard messaging rates apply from their phone service provider.
Kiku can be used for Quizzes. Remind parents to return forms. Conduct surveys. Alter homework assignments. Formative assessments (exit tickets). Receive feedback. Change meeting locations. Clarify a lesson. Provide positive feedback. Answer homework questions and much more, the possibilities are endless.
Kiku is being developed by a California based startup and is still a prototype.