How do you communicate? If you are like the growing majority, you rely heavily upon text-messaging.
Just the other day I was reminded of a service I used last year with students in my classroom and their parents for "just-in-time" communication. Remind 101 (https://www.remind101.com/) is a free communication tool to safely pass along important messages and information to students and parents. Honestly, the best part of using this service was the feedback I received from parents and students. It takes a lot of time as a parent to look at multiple websites to get information about homework or upcoming tests and quizzes. With this service, the information goes directly to them!!! My primary uses for Remind101 were sending reminders for tests, quizzes, projects and major assignment due dates. I would also use it for field trip supply reminders or special events that were occurring. I just recently heard of one teacher using it to motivate at-risk students to come to school by sending encouraging messages to them the night before or in the morning. Parents and students truly appreciate the reminders and the ease of use.
This tool is quick, easy and safe for communication between teacher and student or teacher and parent. I say safe because you, as the teacher, never see record of a subscriber's phone number or email address. The opposite is also true. Subscribers are purely receivers of information; they cannot respond to a message sent to them.
It is easy to get parents and students involved! First, a teacher adds his/her class, which generates a unique code. The teacher then shares that code with students or parents. This can be done by emailing a generated instructional PDF or by having students bring phones to class and projecting the directions for students to sign up. At that point, any student or parent who sends a text message with the code will be "subscribed" to the teacher's class. Beware--set guidelines for how students and parents should enter their names. This will help you by providing consistent information about who is subscribed and it MAY help manage "silliness" when students input names. Any time a teacher sends a message from remind101, all the students or parents subscribed will receive it. Here is an example of the PDF directions form:
As a teacher, you can add up to 10 classes. If you want more, contact the company at remind101.uservoice.com.
Remind101 even offers an iPhone app. Here's the link!
Start using Remind101 in your classroom today and see what an impact
it has on student preparedness!
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