(30 Day Challenge, 2012)
It’s All In the Text: Remind 101
One of the biggest problems teachers face today is keeping in-touch with parents, and therefore, students once they leave our classrooms. For many years teachers have utilized classroom newsletters to keep in touch with parents. Newsletters turned into emails (although physical newsletters still go out). Email has allowed teachers to quickly and easily contact parents. In the last decade, classroom websites have been created to help students and parents alike access the details of classrooms whenever they want. There are issues with both of these methods.
The newsletter is only valuable when the parent actually receives it. This puts the student in charge of ensuring newsletters reach parents. Even then, it is only valuable if the parent takes the time to read it. Emails have been very successful, especially with the growing technological age. Still, it requires a parent to check their email. Some parents, especially in socioeconomic disadvantaged schools, may not have internet, which makes the classroom website unsuccessful too. The classroom website is also only successful if parents and students remember to check it regularly.
There is something new brewing in the world of technology and education though – text reminders. Most parents, and many older students, have cell phones that allow text messages. While the number of parents without cell phones with texting capabilities will be lower in socioeconomic disadvantaged areas, many of these parents still have cell phones. This new trend of text alerts has the ability to leave an enormous positive impact on the world of education.
Working the Text
There is a free text reminder service for teachers called Remind101. This service allows teachers to create profiles for each of the classes they teach, for elementary teachers this may only mean one profile. To begin, go to remind101.com and create a profile. The set up process is straight-forward and the site will walk you through the steps. Once you create an account, you will be asked to create a class. From there, you will be given a class phone number and class code. The class phone number will not be your own personal cell phone number. This allows you to keep your privacy while still being able to take advantage of the service. The next step is just ensuring all of your parents and/or students sign up for the service. This may require newsletters and/or phone calls – but once the parents are signed up for the service, things will run much smoother! Once you have an account and your classes set up, now comes the time to use Remind101. You can send text messages from your computer, or if you have a smartphone you can send text messages through the Remind101 app. (image above: Remind 101, 2012)
(Remind 101, 2014)
How Can I Use Remind101 in My Classroom?
There are a variety of ways you can use Remind101. Below we have a list of some of the ways that this service can be used in a variety of classrooms. In addition to the useful suggestions below, an important feature of Remind101 is that you can set your messages to deliver at specific times in the future. This allows you to plan ahead so that text reminders can be sent out at appropriate times, and you do not have to plan your time around sending text reminders.
All Classrooms (Elementary May Exclude Students From Texts)
- Inform parents and students of homework/homework reminders
- Inform/remind parents and students of upcoming tests
- Inform parents and students of newsletters that are being sent home
- Remind parents and students to send in permission slips
- Inform/remind parents and students of school picture day
- Inform/remind parents and students of regularly scheduled closings/delays
- Inform parents and students of closings and delays (snow days)
- Inform/remind parents and students of special events
- Inform parents and students that grade cards are being sent home
- Inform parents and students when the classroom website has been updated
- Inform/remind parents and students of upcoming field trips
- Inform/remind parents and students of parent-teacher conferences
- Inform parents of class parties
- Inform parents of honors assemblies
- Inform parents of the classroom specific information
Middle & High School Exclusive
- Inform/remind parents and students of athletic events
- Inform/remind parents and students of social events, such as dances
- Can be used for school clubs and other extracurricular activities
- Update students on syllabus and calendar changes
- Inform students if you will be running late to class/class cancellations
- Request/remind students to bring specific materials to class
- Inform students that grades for specific assignments have been posted
- Inform students that something has been uploaded to class site
- Anything that email is used for, or to inform students to check their email
As you can see, Remind101 can be used at any level of education. This service likely works best when implemented at the beginning of a school year or term, but even if you begin midway through, there are many possibilities. It would be unwise to at least try out this free service, especially in an age where people of all walks of life have cell phones with text message capabilities. So, what are you waiting for?
Upside: Remind101 allows you to keep consistent contact with parents and students. You can ensure they have the most up-to-date information. Remind101 is fast, easy and convenient. It also allows you to keep in contact with parents and students without giving away your own cellphone number.
Downside: Remind101 sends text messages without supplying your phone number. This means that if someone has a question about the message, they cannot respond to the text message in the typical text message way. Your students/parents must respond to you either by email or other phone numbers that you have supplied them with.
Standards and Assessment:
There are no standards connected to Remind101 as it is for parent/student communication.
- The official Remind101 website: https://www.remind101.com/
- To learn more about Remind101 (video included): https://www.remind101.com/learn-more
- Even more about Remind101: https://www.remind101.com/resources
- About Remind101: https://www.remind101.com/about
- News articles about Remind101: https://www.remind101.com/press
- Download App in iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/remind101/id522826277
- Download App on Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.remind101&utm_campaign=get-it-on-google-play&utm_medium=homepage&utm_source=remind101
Remind101 is exactly what many educators have been waiting for. It allows you to have quick, easy, convenient and free contact with your students and parents whenever you want. Messages are sent discreetly, and done in such a way that your students and parents are very likely to receive the message. Remind101 – sign up now!
30 Day Challenge: Day 20 – Remind 101. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2014, from http://icats30daychallenge.blogspot.com/2012/11/day-20-remind-101.html
Remind 101 – Project iEngage. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2014, from http://www.projectiengage.com/8/post/2012/11/remind-101.html
Remind101 | Free and Safe Text Messaging for Teachers. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2014, from https://www.remind101.com/
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