Rating TalkingPoints - 5 out of 5 - Best Rating 5.0

  • Android, iPad, iPhone
  • Free
  • age 18+
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About TalkingPoints

TalkingPoints combines a translation and communication service to help every family in your school community enjoy the same opportunities, regardless of their preferred language. Teachers and school staff use the service through a web browser, iOS, or Android app. Families have the same options with the addition of receiving and sending messages via SMS texts.

The apps are free to download, and parents never have to pay for the service. Individual teachers can also access using TalkingPoints for free. There are advantages for whole schools and districts to roll out TalkingPoints, and they can contact the non-profit company behind the service to discuss the cost and benefits.

TalkingPoints Review

What is TalkingPoints app?

The TalkingPoints service facilitates passing information and messages between schools and homes where English may not be well understood. The service looks and feels like popular communication apps like WhatsApp but adds an effective translation layer between schools and families.

TalkingPoints has an app, but, importantly, it isn't only an app.

Parents can receive and send messages by the app on iOS and Android but can also access the service through SMS alone. This feature gives the app maximum accessibility by removing dependence on expensive devices and data connections.

With more than 140 languages covered by the service, the chances of it covering every language needed for your school are high!

Mistranslations occur when computer-based translators have to choose words without knowing the context of the information. TalkingPoints uses artificial intelligence and machine learning within the known context of education.

By being dedicated to home/school communication, TalkingPoints is a much more accurate translator than general-purpose tools. It learns from past translations and knows the context to judge the most likely intention of the speaker.

There is a further safety net. Anyone who receives a message they don't understand can indicate it to the app. The original will then go to a human translator who can make sense of the context or account for any typos before re-forwarding the message.

The app naturally has more features than SMS texts. Users can listen to messages, attach videos and images, and use emoji-like reactions. Videos are automatically captioned in whatever language the recipient prefers. In some instances, the multimedia will aid clarity and, in others, contribute to making the communication experiences friendly and welcoming.

What we love about TalkingPoints app.

TalkingPoints addresses genuine challenges faced by educators.

Teachers know involving parents has many educational benefits for kids, but language barriers can get in the way. Difficulty in communication between parents and schools can compound the challenges faced by kids from under resourced communities, especially those where English is not a first language.

TalkingPoints supports educators in building family engagement. As its helpful website rightly points out, this can be one of the most critical factors in helping kids succeed, whatever their background.

The service performs its role superbly. It is easy to use for staff and families with an interface that will feel familiar to many due to its adherence to established communication app designs.

What skills does it teach?

TalkingPoints can have a huge impact on helping kids through their education, but it is a tool for promoting and enabling family engagement rather than directly educating kids.

What age is it appropriate for?

TalkingPoints is a communication tool for use by parents and teachers. It is suitable for use by any school regardless of its students' age. Students are not the intended users of the app.

Is TalkingPoints app easy to use?

The TalkingPoints apps use an intuitive interface which typical users of mobile devices will quickly understand. Those who only use the SMS part of the service send a message just like any other and only need the relevant number.

Parents using the app can link with teachers using a short code issued to them. After they've established the link, they can enter their child's name and enter their relationship. Caregivers can use the app in their home language as they do this.

Teachers and administrators have more features available through their dashboards for analytics and additional services. Most school staff are now used to accessing services through a web-based dashboard, and TalkingPoints' will not feel unfamiliar.

The service integrates well with other tools schools might use, such as Clever and Classlink. It also supports CSV files which broaden its integration potential further.

One of the strengths of TalkingPoints' customer support is that its website goes beyond explaining the technical side to provide ideas to engage and involve families. It is worth reading even if you don't use the service.

How will students benefit?

Schools and parents provide kids with the nurture, guidance and support to succeed. In the short term, kids might take advantage of communication barriers, but in the long term, their greater success will be a benefit they gain from TalkingPoints.

It isn't just about keeping kids on track; better communication can improve their daily lives. Problems they face may be solved effortlessly when parents and schools work together. They'll be better able to participate in school events if their parents can give informed consent.

How will parents benefit?

TalkingPoints has made its service as accessible as possible by minimising technical demands. Convenient apps are available for iOS and Android devices alongside a web app, but the service remains usable with SMS text messages alone.

Parents who might otherwise feel uninformed are less excluded when their school uses TalkingPoints. Schools can ensure they have the same information about homework, school events, and any issues. Just as important, they can respond and know that the school will hear their concerns and input into their kids' education.

The app thoughtfully includes a kind of glossary for educational terms that not everyone will know. When you use one of these terms or initialisms in the app, it will appear highlighted. Parents who tap on the highlight will see a simple explanation in their preferred language. This feature ensures families fully understand, and teachers don't have to risk patronising or confusing parents.

How will teachers benefit?

We've already written about the benefits of improving communication for kids, but it also makes teachers' lives easier.

With family support, they can fulfil their aims of helping kids achieve. With better communication, they can understand their students better and find a way to work past any challenges. They can preschedule messages if the timing is important.

The app doesn't stop at individual communication. Translated messages can go out to a defined group, the whole school community or even the district.

Those interested in the broader picture have access to data and analytics and the tools to send out polls to parents.

How much does TalkingPoints app cost?

The TalkingPoints apps are free to download. There are no extra costs for parents to send SMS messages beyond what their cell carrier already levies.

Individual teachers can use TalkingPoints for free, with most features fully functional. Schools and districts should contact the publisher to get a quote which will include some enhancements such as enhanced data analysis, SIS integration and priority translation.

Is TalkingPoints app safe to use?

TalkingPoints describes its translation tools as combining machine and human-based translation. This process means that other people trusted by the TalkingPoints service may see your message for the justifiable reason of improving the translation.

The app does not show advertisements even to free users.

What can TalkingPoints app improve on?

TalkingPoints provides a service that schools worldwide would love to access, but only those in the US and Canada can use it at the time of this review. We'd love to see its service extended.

Overall rating of the app.

TalkingPoints offers an undeniably valuable service. Schools adopting this service will instantly improve their home/school communications and gain the long-term benefits we know accompanies better family engagement.

Whether you have one or many families you could better reach with multilingual support, TalkingPoints will provide the tools you need. TalkingPoints is based on a great idea that is very well executed, making it a five-star app.

App Details

Teacher Ratings


Android, iPad, iPhone




Organisational and Productivity Skills


In-App Purchases - No

In-App Advertising - No



Download TalkingPoints

You can download TalkingPoints on your iOS or Android devices from the app stores. Download the TalkingPoints app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

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Screenshots for TalkingPoints

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