If your school uses Google Classroom, your team may have noticed some of these limitations.
The biggest hurdle of using Google classroom comes from its ability to engage parents due to its option for parents to opt out of email updates. Schools have long had email systems in place, but “email boredom” and inbox clutter are very real reasons why email correspondence of home learning and school communication does not guarantee the best engagement.
Milk (My Interactive Learning Kit) provides a pure and dedicated information channel to students and parents regarding home learning, communication, grades, achievement, attendance and more.
Google Classroom is free to use and offers great access to assignments, but many customers are telling us it does not provide school communities with the holistic approach required to fully engage students and parents (especially parents). We recommend only using Google Classroom in tandem with Milk (My Interactive Learning Kit) – Milk imports all Google classroom assignments while providing school communities with a solution that overcomes the limitations of Google Classroom outlined below:
source: Google Classroom Help
Milk (My Interactive Learning Kit)
To email students, your administrator needs to turn on Gmail for you and your students.
|Milk comes ready to message any student or parent.|
|For your students to send email in Classroom, the Gmail and Directory services must be turned on for students. For help, contact your Google Workspace administrator.||For your students to send a message back to a teacher in Milk, the teacher concerned can select ‘Allow reply’.|
You can email to up to 100 recipients at once. If a class has more than 100 students, you’ll need to email some students first and then send the message again to the remaining students.
|You can message as many classes, groups (e.g., house groups, ski trip, football team, etc.), year groups, or individual students as you like at once.|
You or your administrator can invite guardians to receive automatic email summaries of their student’s progress. You choose which classes to include in the summaries. You can only add guardians for students using Classroom with a Google Workspace account.
Milk enforces a more proactive communication with parents and guardians, because it does not rely on them accepting/ignoring an invite. It also records the exact time and date a parent/guardian has read your message. Parents are automatically included in all homework and message correspondence.
|Parents/guardian email details require constant administration to ensure accuracy and rightful legal entitlement.||Milk automatically imports all parent/guardian email addresses from school MIS and syncs changes daily for confident hassle-free communication with legal parents/guardians.|
Google Classroom parent email summary:
Missing work—Work not turned in when the summary was sent.
Upcoming work—Work that’s due today and tomorrow (for daily emails) or that’s due in the upcoming week (for weekly emails).
Class activity—Announcements, assignments, and questions recently posted by teachers.
Guardians who sign up for email summaries can’t see the Stream, Classwork, People, or Grades pages in Classroom.
Milk provides parents with a view of missing work and upcoming work, as well as announcements, assignments, and questions recently posted by teachers.
Parents/guardians are not required to ‘sign-up’ for summaries because they can already see all activity for the child, including grades and written reports and attendance data imported from the school’s MIS.
Milk provides a dedicated and separate information channel for students and parents to focus their engagement and response, it does not add to an already cluttered email inbox, where essential information can easily be overlooked.
|You can remove yourself as a student’s guardian at any time. If you want to remain a guardian, but not get the summaries, you can Unsubscribe from email.||Milk does not give parents the opportunity to unsubscribe and disengage with their child’s school activity.|
You can get email summaries sent to any email address. However, to view or update email summary settings, you need a Google Account. With a Google Account, you can change the frequency of your emails, update your time zone, see the students connected to your account, and unsubscribe from email summaries.
|Milk is agnostic and does require parents to use any particular email platform.|
|Guardians can’t access Classroom or their student’s assignments due to privacy laws. Guardians can only get email summaries if your student’s teacher allows it.||Parents/guardians using Milk can see their child’s assignments and file attachments, enabling them to assist their child’s home learning.|
|Google Classroom requires constant manual administration to ensure class lists are accurate (contain the right students) and requires additional manual administration to add/remove parents/guardians.||Milk automatically imports and updates daily, all class lists and rightful parent/guardian from the school’s MIS without need for manual administration.|
|Google Classroom does not display attendance and punctuality data taken from school MIS.||Milk displays attendance and punctuality data from school MIS for students and parents to review (if requested by school).|
|Google Classroom does not display achievement and behaviour points data taken from school MIS.||Milk displays achievement and behaviour points data taken from school MIS for students and parents to review (if requested by school).|
|Google Classroom does not display subject progress reports using RAG/ROG colour ratings taken from school MIS.||Milk displays subject progress reports using RAG/ROG colour ratings taken from school MIS for students and parents to review (if requested by school).|
Milk sync with Google Classroom includes:
- students and parents can easily view Google Classroom assignments and feedback via Milk
- Google Classroom assignments are included in Milk Analytics
- Google Classroom assignment status e.g., ongoing, complete, returned, etc., is reflected in Milk
Teachers already using Milk can watch our short instruction video on how to sync their Milk and Google Classroom accounts:
If a parent engages with their child’s homework tasks in this way, the student is likely to feel more motivated to complete online homework to a high standard.
There are other benefits of using an online interactive learning kit, such as its ability to reduce teacher workload and save the school money. For more information on how the Milk communication and curriculum platform works, you can book a Zoom demo with a Milk team member.