Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Remind101: The Perfect Forget-Me-Not

As educators know, a great deal of communication with parents and students is needed to ensure academic success.  

With that being the case, which method of communication is best to guarantee a high degree of contact?  The answer is easy, of course ... texting! 

In fact, a recent study found that 77% of teens aged 12-17 have a cell phone and with each passing day that number continues to rise (Lenhart, 2012).  The March 2012 report published by PEW Research Center also found that text messaging is the primary means of communication for most teens with 63% saying that they text on a daily basis - an average of 60 text messages per teen.  The report further explains:

"This far surpasses the frequency with which they pick other forms of daily communication, including phone calling by cell phone (39% do that with others every day), face-to-face socializing outside of school (35%), social network site messaging (29%), instant messaging (22%), talking on landlines (19%) and emailing (6%)."

Needless to say, texting has a very high rate of use!  So, how can educators take advantage?  Not surprisingly, there are many products available but hands down, my favorite application is Remind101!  Why?  It is free, easy to use and confidential!

Easily, the best feature of Remind101 is all phone numbers are private.  The only information anyone will see is the user's name.  In addition, the sign-up process is extremely easy as students and parents simply send a text message with the assigned custom code to the phone number provided.  Remind101 will also send messages via email.    

Additional Features of Remind101:
1.  iPhone & iPad apps are currently available.  A companion Android app is set to be released in September.
2.  Send a message to an entire class or classes with only one entry.  
3.  Messages can be programmed to be sent at a later time.
4.  A record of previously sent messages is kept for later referral.

NEW for Canadian users! 
As of July 2012, Canadian educators can enjoy the benefits of Remind101 without the fear of additional cell phone charges!  Click on the following link for information on how to switch your current U.S. phone number to a Canadian one.  
Canadian Numbers Have Arrived!

How to Get Started:

Refer to the Remind101 video tutorial below as it will get you started in a matter of minutes.

Possible Uses for Remind101:

Clearly, the sky is the limit with Remind101.  Below are just a few ideas:

1.  Remind students of any classroom or school activity - homework, bell schedule changes, classroom changes, dress-up days, dances, assemblies, intramurals, etc.

2.  Keep parents updated regarding class & school activities.  e.g. - date and time of Student/Parent/Teacher Interviews or school orientation days, etc.

3.  Extracurricular activities - send reminders about practice or rehearsal times to your students.

4.  Send messages about fun facts, study tips or after school tutorials.

I am extremely confident that you and your students will fall in love with Remind101.  If you have any other possible uses for Remind101, please leave a comment and share your great idea with other educators!  To get started now, click here!

This post originally appeared on "The De-tech-tive 4 Teachers".

Lenhart, Amanda. "Teens, Smartphones & Texting." Http:// PEW Internet & American Life     
     Project, 19 Mar. 2012. Web. 14 Aug. 2012. 

photo credit: <a href="">nutmeg66</a> via <a href="">photo pin</a> <a href="">cc</a>
photo credit: <a href="">Ian Muttoo</a> via <a href="">photo pin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

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