I started this school year off with a homework assignment of my own: find a free tool to send bulk text messages to parents, without sharing my personal cell phone number. The result: Remind101.
Remind101 is a FREE and safe way to communicate with parents (or students) without them knowing your phone number, nor you knowing theirs. Remind101 will provide you with a default phone number. You provide that number to your parents and/or students, and they send a unique text message , provided by Remind101, to subscribe to your class(es).
Remind101 is not designed for communication back-and-forth. It does not allow subscribers to reply to the messages you’ve sent, so you will need an additional means of communication for that (I suggest e-mail). It is very useful for teachers who do not have access to their school or grade-level website and would like to send out daily or regular messages. I use it for posting the homework I’ve assigned each day.
About 1/3 of my parents have subscribed so far and the feedback has been great! For example, one of my students does not complete homework on a regular basis. His parents and I have tried numerous interventions to no avail. Now that his parents are notified nightly of the homework, they are able to notify me when he doesn’t bring the proper materials home. This allows the student to still complete the assignment in a time frame that allows him to still get credit versus waiting until Friday when parents are notified of missing assignments via my weekly grade report.
I hear this is also a great tool for coaches and other non-traditional educators (dance teachers, piano teachers, etc), too!
Are any of you using Remind101? What are you thoughts?
If you’re looking for more information on Remind101, visit their website: http://www.remind101.com
P.S. There are Remind101 apps for the iPad, iPhone, and Android devices.