This is my 2nd post in my TECHspired Tuesday series in which I feature free technology I use in my classroom. This website and phone app is one I found on….[drum roll please]…Pinterest!
Fortunately, I found it over the summer and was able to introduce it to my students’ parents on our Back to School night.
The website/app is: Remind 101 created by two brothers, Brett and David Kopf.
Remind 101 allows you as a teacher, coach, professor, etc. to send a reminder text message/e-mail to your students, or to parents in my case since my kiddos are too young to have phones.
Here’s a snap shot of recent messages I’ve sent to my students’ parents:
Why I love it:
- My classroom is literally the farthest one from the copier room. Therefore when I type a reminder note to the parents and need to get it printed, copied, and passed out I have to plan it during either my lunch or while the kids are their special. Typically, I forget and don’t remember until the minute the last bus is called and it’s quiet enough to think, lol. Now I can send a text from my phone or computer to remind parents of important events and approaching deadlines that they need to be aware of.
- It actually reaches the parents- I cannot tell you how many times I’ve found conference reminder notes or permission slips crinkled up in my students’ desks that doesn’t make an appearance until about a month after the due date. Typically the only reason it makes it out of the desk alive is because the desk gets so jam-packed with random papers that it finally erupts into a huge homework lava mess onto the classroom floor. Sending a text message to parents ensures that they will receive the message whether they are at work, grocery shopping, or changing diapers. There’s something about getting a message directly to your phone that makes it hard to miss. Even e-mails get looked over, but texts ALWAYS get read.
- You can see who subscribes to receive your alerts, therefore you know exactly who the messages are reaching, however they cannot “text” back.
- You do not share your personal email or phone number which keeps it professional.
- You can schedule your reminder alerts for specific days and times. I usually think of things early in the morning and late at night-not during the hustle and bustle of the school day, so as soon as I think of something I can send the text and schedule it for an appropriate time. This also comes in handy if you want to establish a routine with your students/parents and send a weekly text about specific information. I’ve toyed with the idea of sending parents the weekly vocab words, or other similar things that are updated weekly.
- My whole team uses it- once you have a login and password you can share it with your team so that you can look like a unified front. My team is departmentalized so if my students need math updates, their math teacher can send alerts, etc.
- It’s super easy for parents to sign up they just have to send a text to become a subscriber. Remind101 gives you a free printable to pass out to parents with the information so it’s done for you.
- Emergencies-I pray that I’d never have to use Remind101 for this, but when the unfortunate event happened at Sandy Hook Elementary, I thought about how having instant access to parents through text could also be used in emergencies.
- I love sharing tips for parents to help their students succeed. It’s almost like a personalized Twitter account just for my kid’s parents.
- At the end of the year you can delete the class, or parents can unsubscribe at anytime by simply replying “stop.” The ease and simplicity of this app is amazing!