This week one of my kids’ classes has been planning its fall party. All of the parents are always willing to help out and that is wonderful, but my inbox now has more than 30 reply-alls. I was afraid to even start opening them to see what was still needed. I felt overwhelmed.
So I set up a closed Facebook group to help the parents communicate, as well as help manage the email traffic. So we’ll see if it works.
A closed Facebook group allows you to add members from a certain group and outsiders can’t read what you are posting, similar to a profile page. You can also create an open group if you don’t care if people read it.
(You can also create a page for an organization, which is different. Those are generally public and function a little bit differently than the group set up.)
We’re in the middle of trying to get all the moms added as members. I went with a closed group so no one would have to worry about the class, school or kids being identified online.
The class mom can post the list of things that are needed and then let people sign up by commenting below. Then the room mom could go through and quickly create a master list without having to open 30 separate emails. Also the other parents could easily see what was taken, also without having to open 30 extra emails.
The class can also coordinate on games, activities, or needs of the class. As well as ask questions about homework or tests.
The nice part about it being closed is that you could even add photos from class parties and only the parents could see and share. (You could download from Facebook ones that you like.)
So far the only bad part is having to get all the families signed up as members on the page. They either have to be added by “Friends” already added or ask to be added. We have about half of the parents after one afternoon so hopefully we can finish everyone up today.
It doesn’t do you any good if everyone is not on the page. You don’t want to be switching between email and Facebook. You could send out the final master list by email at the end but I’m not sure why you would as long as everyone is in the Facebook group.
(You can hit a button to leave the group if you don’t want to be on there. I’m not sure what the downside is especially now that all the email notifications have been turned off on Facebook. You can just peek in and see what’s up. No pressure.)
There is also a group chat function that might be useful when trying to figure out a particular detail of an event.
We use a public page (which is different than a group) for our swim team, and that does make it very easy to communicate about swim meets and equipment. The parents can hop on and ask questions and other more experienced parents can answer. The leaders also hop on and answer as well. They use the event function on the page to remind people when events are. (You can do that with the Facebook group page as well.)
I am wondering how Evite would be to set up class parties and events. You could list what was needed then people could log on to see what was left to take. You wouldn’t even have to create a master list then.
I don’t think Evite would facilitate the conversation though. You couldn’t really ask question and answer back on there.
I just think there have got to be easier ways to go about coordinating class parties and group events other than through email. What software and websites are you using to coordinate class or group events?