Monday, August 26, 2013

Communicate with Students and Parents Using Remind101

Welcome back to a new school year!  As you are thinking about procedures and resources you will use with your students, you might be thinking of ways that you communicate assignment instructions and/or due dates with your students.  

Remind101 is a online tool that allows teachers (and coaches, admin, advisers  etc.) to send text reminders to students.  It is an easy and safe way to communicate with both your students and parents.

  • Students/parents NEVER see your cell phone number
  • Teachers never see student's numbers
  • Students can subscribe to remind101 and receive texts or emails if they don't have a free texting plan
  • It is safe for teachers and students - messages go out to the entire class at once - you can't message individuals  
  • Soon you will be able to send messages to groups of at least three students - this will be great to communicate assignments with students who missed class
  • You can send links to websites, google forms, images, etc.
  • You can embed a feed of your reminders into your website
  • You can schedule reminders ahead of time from the web or iOS/Android apps
  • The Remind101 developers are friendly, happy to help, and are open to ideas and suggestions.  They respond quickly to comments/questions.
  • When students or parents complain that they didn't  know when assignments are due, (even though you write it on the board, post a calendar online, and announce it to the class) you can let them know that you send out reminder texts as well.  Most parents will sign up during parent meetings.

  • Students can't communicate back if they have a question - but they can email you.
  • Some teachers believe that it is too much "handholding" for students to receive these reminders - but I feel that the more open I am with students and parents about assignments, the less I have to deal with unhappy students and parents.

Ideas for Use:
  • teachers send out homework assignments and due dates to students and parents
  • teachers send links to google forms to collect information from students or parents
  • coaches send out practice and game announcements
  • advisers/teachers send out meeting locations and times during field trips
  • admin sending out all clear notices or announcements to staff during fire/evacuation drills
  • librarians send out announcements about library due dates or open/closed hours

Here is a video explanation of how Remind101 works:

  • Put a copy of the PDF instructions on how to sign up on your webpage.
  • Have students take out their cell phones and sign up in class.
  • At Back to School Night, have parents sign up.
Remind 101 is a great and easy tool to open up communication in your classroom.  They also have a YouTube channel with lots of how to videos if you get stuck.

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