Messenger Kids is a free video calling and messaging app (over WiFi, otherwise standard data charges apply) designed for kids to connect with close friends and family from their tablet or smartphone. Learn more>>
As educators, we know how much our classroom community helps our students nurture and build relationships. With nationwide school closures, our kids are really missing their friends and classmates.
It’s more important than ever to provide avenues for our kids to engage virtually in order to keep those friendships going. Messenger Kids has introduced new features that make it easy for teachers to create virtual groups to help their students stay in touch. Connecting with peers may help provide kids with a sense of normalcy and community.
Use your insight to connect kids through groups.
When you work with a group of students every day, you get an excellent sense of who gets along and who works well together; oftentimes better than parents, who may only know a handful of the other students in their child’s class.
Messenger Kids’ new group feature allows parents to approve a trusted adult (like their teacher) to create connections for their child by adding them to group chats with other kids whose parents have also given the okay.
It’s safe and simple.
The first step is to request permission from parents to add contacts to their child’s contact list and connect them to groups. After you’ve received permission, you can create a group chat. Once connected through a group, kids will also be able to chat with each other individually without further parent approval. Parents will be notified when new contacts are added for their child and can manage the list of contacts through the Parent Dashboard. Kids can opt to leave groups at any time and parents can remove your permission at any time.
What if a group doesn’t work out?
Sometimes the groups we put together don’t work out the way we planned. No worries. There are two ways you can deal with the situation:
If Mrs. Smith doesn’t want her son Seth to be in a group with Joe, she can opt to remove Joe from Seth’s contact list. Once this step is complete, Seth will be removed from all group chats with Joe and won’t be able to contact him individually.
Another way is for you, the group’s creator, to just delete the group chat altogether. When you delete the group chat, kids will still be contacts and can chat with each other individually, but they won’t be able to chat as a group. Be aware that once you delete a chat, you will need parent approval to create a new one.
Classroom community is such an important part of a student’s school experience. When kids are part of a community, they feel valued and connected. Messenger Kids gives teachers the perfect platform for connecting kids and provides kids with a safe place to maintain and nourish the important friendships in their lives.