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Monday, August 6, 2012

Why I'm using Remind 101 this year

For the last few years, I've sent parents a 'daily email' that included a link to our team announcements, homework, events, and a "What did you do at school today?" section to help generate conversation at night! I borrowed this idea of course. Parents tell us year after year they like and appreciate the consistent communication. We view it as key to a smooth and connected year with students, parents, teachers, and community. Daily routine: all 4 team teachers edit their part of our team Google Doc.  I send out the google doc link in an email to our parent list in the afternoon. (I would make a copy of our team original Gdoc that we work from daily, then set that new doc to shared/view.)

Why I am rethinking the Email ONLY method of info delivery:
  • Issue 1: Our students wanted to get the daily email but didn't!  Most 6th graders don't have their own email accounts and they can't always check their school email at school or home.
  • Issue 2: Some parents had the daily email sent to a work email and then didn't have access to it at home. If I sent it after they left work, they did not get it.
  • Fact: Kids and parents are more connected via phones now than they were in the past 3 years. Many kids and parents DO have cell phones and have the ability to receive texts. 

This year: Send out daily team 'communication' w/Remind 101
  • Versatile: Parents and kids can choose to get the daily team communication sent to their email addresses OR their cell phones as a text OR to both
  • Easy to implement: Teachers send home ONE PAPER with SIMPLE 2 step text and email directions on what to do  to get registered in the group.  (See video and link at bottom of page) That's it! No tedious codes to pass out to individual students and parents. Students/parents send a text and/or an email to the address/number given and then respond to followup text/email with their names. Voila, they show up in your group list. You do nothing. That's really all there is to it.
  • Easy to send messages: You type messages directly into either Remind 101 on your computer or Remind 101 PHONE APP on your phone. Add links, info, whatever. Just like Twitter, you get 140 characters, so links work great. Students and parents will receive message on their phones and/or in their emails (at home or on the go). You can schedule messages to go out in advance as well.
  • The fine print: 
    • Remind 101 is FREE and you do NOT have to have a smartphone to receive Remind 101 messages!
    •  Students/Parents cannot reply back to the Remind 101 texts or emails they receive. There is a solution to that. Our email addresses are all hyperlinked and they can simply click to email from right from our linked google doc. (You could also add your email address to your messages in Remind 101)
    • No phone numbers or email addresses are seen by anyone. Students/parents are identified by name.
    • If there is a field trip or other big event throughout the year, you can send out quick reminders and both parents and kids will receive that info!
  • Other Uses? Communicate with small school groups or clubs like STUCO with Remind 101. How about teacher groups/committees? Each teacher can have up to 10 different classes. If I lead a photography group like I did last year, I would set up another class in Remind 101, give the small group of kids the paper with the two ways to sign up and the codes --and then communicate away!

WATCH THIS VIDEO--1 minute Remind 101 Tutorial!

A fantastic blogpost on Remind 101 I found earlier this summer!

.✏ Mrs. Stanford's Class ✏.: Remind 101 

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