Since I wrote a few weeks back about Positive Parent Contact, Part 1 and Part 2, I have had many questions about Remind 101 and what it can do for teachers. I am going to take this opportunity to focus a little more on this one VERY useful tool.
Remind101, first of all, is free! That grabs teacher’s attention right away. We are always looking for inexpensive ways to make our lives easier as well as the lives of the families we are dealing with. It is a site that will allow you to contact your students/parents via text message without having to give out your phone number.
A little background about the site. It was created by Brett and David Kopf. While Brett was in college he could see a need for better communication through his own experiences with his classes. He thought that since students are texting all the time anyway, why not talk where they are listening?!? From that, Remind101 was born. That was a few years back. The way texting has grown, it is a great place to reach parents as well as students these days.
Here is how Remind 101 works. You can visit their website or download the app for your device and create a free account. Once your account is created you have the ability to create classes within your account. This will allow you to make a “class” to whom you can send messages. You are able to create multiple classes, so you can have one for parents as well as classes for each of your student groups. For each class you create you will receive a code along with a number to text the code to. Give that information to each person you want to invite to that class. When they text the code to the number given they receive a text back asking for their name. Once they reply with their name they are registered to that class. There is nothing for you to do with the information…it is done for you automatically!
Once your participants have joined their classes you are ready to start using the tool. Simply log into the site (or use the app), choose which class/classes you wish to send a message to, type in the message you want to send and send it off. The people who have registered for that class will receive the message as a text on their device. Want to send a message later but afraid you will forget? You can type in messages and schedule them to go out at a later date/time. I don’t think it could get any easier!
Another great feature with Remind101 is that it is a one way conversation. You are not allowed to reply to any of the text messages. If you try you will get a “sorry” text back explaining that you can’t reply.
Think of the way this can be used in your classroom…
- Reminders for paperwork to be turned in, upcoming tests, field trips, checking folders, and special occasions at school.
- Share out exciting events, spelling lists, vocabulary lists, and homework assignments.
- Keep parents up to date on early releases or changes in schedule.
- Notify parents of new blog posts or if important information is coming home with their children.
That is just a few ideas coming off the top of my head. The possibilities are endless.
Sound AWESOME? IT IS!!! Communicate with parents and students without giving out your personal number and keep it as sharing information only. Give Remind101 a try…I don’t think you’ll regret it!