As educators we know that effective and frequent communication with parents/ guardians helps support the needs of our students. Typically, we pick up the phone in our free time to call home to discuss the happenings of our classrooms with parents. What if you could send a text or email instead?

Have you ever heard one of these in your classroom:

I didn’t know there’s test today.

I forgot my project.

I couldn’t remember which pages to read.

I did’t write down the assignment so, I forgot which numbers to complete.

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Remind will allow you to send text to all (or just certain ones) of  your students, parents or guardians without you having to use your personal number to send it. It is a one way free text messaging/ emailing system that students and parents would have to opt into to use. Another plus: you can use Remind on any device as long as it has an internet connection.

Remind will allow you to schedule your message to send at a later date (maybe for that big test reminder?) and  allows you to attach documents, photos or a voice clip if needed.

 

Getting Started with Remind

1. Go to http://www.remind.com

2. Click on the blue Teacher Sign Up button.

3. Input your name, email, and a password. OR Click the Google button to sign up using your Google account. (I’d recommend the Google method so you don’t have to add another password to your long list of those to remember.)

4. Click the blue Add a New Class button on the left to set up a code specific to each class you teach or group you wish to communicate with.

5. Enter your class name and type a code you wish to use. (Sometimes your code will be taken, but remind will suggest a code for you.)

6. You will be shown a screen with the number students or parents/ guardians should a text to along with your class code. Alternatively, a student or parent/guardian can scan the QR code. If you wish to send a sheet home to request that parents join the contact list, click Download PDF at the top print out the handout and send home with the student. There are also directions on how to sign up to receive email reminders on the handout. You could also invite anyone you wish to join your contact group through email if you have their email address on hand.

You can always find the invitation screen from your dashboard by clicking the blue Invite students & parents button found on the right hand side of the screen.

 

Sending Messages 

In the TO box you have 3 options:

-you can send a message to all classes

-just the classes you select

-individuals who have subscribed

After selecting your recipients, type your message in the box. If you wish to attach a document or picture click the paperclip. If you wish to schedule your message to send out at a later date, click the calendar and set your date/time.

 

Managing Contacts

From your dashboard, you can see who is registered for each class by clicking on the class on the left and then looking at the list of subscribers on the bottom right hand side. You can  clear the entire class or just remove one person. To remove one person click on their name in the list and click Remove from Class

 

Suggested Uses

  • Remind students of homework due the next day.
  • Remind parents of an upcoming event in your class.
  • Invite parents to a special event in your school.
  • Remind students to bring an item needed in class.
  • Send an request of parents to return your call.

 

Why it Matters (Teaching Rubric)

An effective communication system in the classroom leads to a Respectful Culture (essential competency 3.4) by communicating in a way that is professional, positive, and inclusive of all students.   By regularly sharing information about the classroom to families, responding promptly to contact from parents, and developing activities designed to engage families successfully, Remind can help you provide a venue for Stakeholder Engagement and Communication (competency 4.4).

 

Your Challenge

Today’s challenge is to look over Remind and reflect on how you could use this resource to enhance communication with the stakeholders in your classes / school.  Share those reflections in the comments below and if you have another great way to communicate with students, parents or guardians  please feel free to add it to your comments as well.   Commenting on others responses is a great way to share ideas and make educational connections, just remember that “active participation” is more than just an “attaboy” for someone else.  Enjoy!


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38 COMMENTS

  1. I work in a middle school, and although I use this, I find the students are more likely to check their email than to sign up for this service. They are not allowed to have their cell phones during the day. I also find even the parents prefer email.

  2. I have used remind 101 in my classroom now for two years. The kids have commented on how much they appreciate the reminders. I even have kids that get upset when I don’t text them about assignments or reminders. I think my favorite aspect of this app is that I can schedule messages to go out when I want them to, so I can sit and write several messages at one time and don’t have to think about it. I love this app and will continue to use it in the future with my kids!

  3. I first became aware of Remind when it was introduced to us at a school tech workshop. I really liked it, but thought it might be a bit tedious getting all the parents to sign up to receive the messages. I find that using our Harmony mass email works great or most of my communication needs, but I feel parents would see Remind quicker since it is with texting. I especially think I may start using it for those students whose parents do not have email (assuming they have texting. If they don’t have email they may not text either). I really like the Remind though because it is a great way to get a message in front of a parent quickly!

  4. I love Remind! I’ve used it for a couple of years now and it’s great. It is a really quick and easy way to stay in touch with parents about things happening in our school and classroom. I really like that you can now attach newsletters, flyers, permission slips, etc. for the parents to see. That has been a tremendous help this year! You can even schedule your messages for a later time or date. The only drawback is that the message size is often too small and I have to get creative with what I need to say.

  5. This looks like a great way to notify my students well in advance for a test. I have a lot of students who play sports and need additional reminders before a test. This allows me to post multiple times on test week to my students and parents. We will see how this works!

  6. My son’s teacher uses this and I LOVE it. As a teacher it’s such a easy way to reach all parents at once. It’s also a great way to remind parents of upcoming tests/work. It keeps from having parents say they aren’t sure what’s going on in your classroom.

      • I use it for special event reminders, shout outs, and for general quick info. For instance, we had a boil order issued, so I was able to quickly reach many of my parents to let them know to send in a bottled water for their child that day. It’s SO quick and easy! Many of my parents don’t access to email or use email, but they will text. I also love that it is private, so my information isn’t out there unless I want it to be.

  7. I’ve used Remind for three years, but I’ve never thought of using it to contact parents and guardians. Next year, I’ll consider setting up separate accounts for each of my classes, one for students and one for parents. I can ask the parents to sign up at open house, and send a note home or call the parents who didn’t come to open house. My yearbook students’ parents will especially benefit from this. They need reminders for our deadlines and after-school work sessions.

  8. Remind 101 is a fabulous tool and numerous teachers in our building take advantage of this resource. I think it would be great if building principals or secretaries would consider using it with their teachers in the same way teachers use it with their students or parents. This would especially be nice in cases when there was a last minute cancellation or when teachers needed to bring specific materials to meetings etc.

  9. A teaching colleague shared Remind 101 with me at the end of the last school year and I would wait for the fall to try it out. It was very easy to set up the account and we have placed the steps a student or parent would need to follow to join our Remind 101 on the main page of our Weebly website. I use my Remind101 for specific things, major changes to the schedule (ie movement of a test), or reminders about due dates for major projects or exams. Students have a lot going on in their lives and although it shouldn’t happen they can forget things and the Remind tool is easy way to help them be prepared and on time. My two favorite features of Remind are the ability to program alerts to be sent in the future and the inability of each party to see one another’s numbers. It keeps that wall of separation while allowing the important information to be delivered.

  10. I love this app! Using it to reminds students or parents about items that are due is great. Being able to attach a document is great for lost or forgotten papers that are due the next day. The best thing is that you can schedule it to be delivered when you want it to be, that way you can enter it when you have a free minute or during your plan period without interrupting the student in class if they have their phone on.

  11. I used cel.ly with most of my classes, but I did set up remind with one of my groups to try it out. I liked that it automatically put the students first and last name. In Cel,ly, it asks for username so the kids enter in random things and I don’t know who is actually in the group. I also like how easy it is to add files and images. I have started working on flipping one of my classes. I use Remind to send out the link to the video.

  12. This was a game changer after learning about it at the 2013 e-revolution conference. I use it a lot for my sport teams and clubs to get info out quickly. I’ve also used it to get info out to another group of just staff members which worked wonderfully last year with all the snow delays and closings. I really like the ability it has now to add attachments (picture or file). This is great when saying there’s a from needing signed and also to send some quick motivational or thankful messages. Also, the ability to select a minimum of 3 people to message is great if you’re only wanting to send to a select few. If you aren’t using Remind (101) yet, you are missing out!

  13. I have been introduced to something similar to remind with our baseball team this summer called teamsnap. It is very useful to give reminders prior to games and who was to bring the snack.

  14. I plan to use Remind to connect with my students’ families regarding test dates, field trips, and other important information. Implementing technology tends to make me apprehensive, but once I’ve tried something I usually am glad that I did. Technology always seems simple when someone else explains/shows it to me, instead of when I teach myself. I’m challenging myself to stretch a bit this year with the icats 30 day challenge.

  15. It seems that at the beginning of the year I could offer levels of communication. So, for parents who prefer not to be inundated with messages, they could sign up for only test reminders…but for parents who want/need to be micro-managed, there could be an option to receive messages for all areas…complete at home/homework/test. If those groups could be pre-determined then I could send appropriate messages to groups desiring communication. Giving parents a voice in what is communicated affords me the opportunity to say that I made myself available…

  16. My teachers LOVE using Remind 101. It is simple, easy, and safe. When my teachers feel safe using a product, that definitely impacts how and how much they utilize the tool! One thing that my teachers wish that it did was to communicate individually with just one student/parent in the group easily. As a parent, I LOVE the communication from my daughter’s classroom. It is so much more helpful to receive a quick text reminder than a phone call. I can look at the message on my time, and it allows me to be much more involved in my child’s classroom. As a parent, I can support what is being learned at school.

  17. I love Remind! I first started using it to send messages to my cheerleaders. This year I had their parents subscribe as well. We also created a group for our 8th grade students and parents. We had them subscribe during the beginning of the school year. We use it to send out important reminders. I am excited to try sending out Google Docs and Word documents. Another benefit is it is super easy to create and delete groups. People who don’t text can also get the messages sent to their email.

  18. I have been using Remind for several years. We use it with our sports teams to remind them of practices and games. Many of our after school clubs use it to remind students of activities and when they meet. For class I use to help parents remember to return field trip money or permission slips. I have also texted out review questions for the test or quiz. Parents and students love this. I could see using this as an exit ticket or quick check assessment where you can send out a Remind and give extra points the next day to those that checked the Remind and were able to respond. I love the fact that even if they don’t have a phone they can get email messages. Even better that I can set up events for the year ahead of time and schedule for when the Reminder goes out.

  19. Remind seems like a very good tool to use but doesn’t differ much from Celly except that it is one-way communication. I prefer keeping communication open both ways by using Celly.

    • While we understand that this isn’t a tool you plan on using…what advantages could using a one way communication tool bring to your class?

  20. My son plays travel baseball. The coach used to send out group texts about practices, tournaments, etc. and sometimes being a part of the group was not such a good thing because people would respond with irrelevant things, jokes, etc. that didn’t really pertain to the group as a whole. One text would lead to twenty between just two members of the group about the NFL game from the weekend and it had nothing to do with you or baseball. Or two parents would work out arrangements for getting kids to practice within the same thread of 25 other people. It just got to be too much so I suggested Remind to our coach. He’s been using it for about a year now and can even attach tournament schedules and Mapquest directions. It has been awesome and that’s my reflection about why I love Remind, but here’s a possible idea for how it can further be used:

    I have been the student council sponsor for a number of years. We are in charge of homecoming ceremonies. Our basketball homecoming is always on a Saturday night and it seems like for years and years without fail, we get a huge amount of snowfall the day of the game, and there has to be a cancellation. In the past I have spent HOURS on the phone calling homecoming court members, photographers, DJs, flower shops, etc. cancelling everything. Now with Remind, when homecoming court members receive packets of information regarding the ceremony and preparation, they get the Remind directions so that I can contact them for dates like bio due dates, photo shoots, practice times, and the dreaded inclement weather cancellation. My point here is, I think a lot of people feel Remind needs to be used for long term, but it can be used for groups that you may only interact with for a short time and it proves very useful.

  21. I love Remind. It’s a tool I’ve used in my classroom for the past couple of years. I send texts to my parents to remind them that library books are due, it’s picture day, report cards came home, and many other things. Last year, Scott School had a severe storm come through the area. While we were in storm positions, I used Remind to text my parents to let them know that we were ok. I also like that you can send texts or pictures to a group and individually. There have been times where I see that a bus is going to be late. Instead of texting my whole class, I can just send out a text to those specific parents whose children ride that bus. Remind is such a simple tool, but it really is one of the best communication mediums that I use in my classroom.

  22. I use Remind as I posted on the Cel.ly day. A way I get a lot of participation from students and parents is that I post it first day on the screen and say “get out your phone” and then print the poster it allows you to make to have it hanging rest of the time. At open house, I have it posted on the screen for parents too and then tell that what I post and that it would be a great way to stay informed. I have more than half of my seniors signed up, and over half of my geometry class.

  23. Remind looks to be a great tool to communicate reminders to parents and students of upcoming events. The plus to this is parents who have a smart phone to receive the reminders. Elementary students are limited in number as to those who have smart phones. This reminds a little of Shutterfly. I used the calendar option in that program/app to list upcoming events and even elaborate details when necessary. The program automatically sends out a reminder one day prior to the date. I think there is a wide venue for using Remind for education.

  24. Remind is a great way to supplement information posted on a class website. So that I don’t duplicate the information on Weebly, I save Remind for the “change in plans” sort of messages that are time sensitive, for example, a change in the time or location of a field trip or school schedule.

  25. I understand the usefulness of Remind and similar programs, however I prefer email. With Remind, you used to not be able to contact individuals. I know students do not use email and they prefer text messages, but for parent contact I still make a contact group for each class. I have parents fill out a Google form after the first day of class that provides me with the most current email addresses. From these forms I can populate my contact groups. They I can contact individual parents as well as the whole group. Some parents will not have email, but these days, nearly everyone has an email. For those that do not, I just have to call if needed.

    For student reminders, I agree that Remind can be useful as they prefer text messages.

  26. I love Remind! The ability to send Google Docs or Word documents is amazing. Remind keeps getting better, and couldn’t be easier to use. If you aren’t utilizing this FREE resource you are missing out on a great way to communicate with parents and students. Everyone always checks their text messages. Sign up. Right now.

    • Mary,
      Thanks for your comments. I just want to remind you that if you are want your comments to be counted for the challenge itself, you need to make sure that you complete the posted challenge each day. While we always enjoy seeing cordial comments, they do not fullfill the “active participation” guidline for the 30 Day Challenge. Thanks again and looking forward to see how you could use this resource or other like it to enhance communication in your classes/ school.

  27. I started using Remind this year. I don’t always remember to send out reminders, but when I do the students have responded. I have multiple classes set up which is helpful teaching three grade levels. I have recommended this to other teachers due to its ease of use and the ability to send messages from mobile devices.

  28. Remind looks great. I would use this tool to remind my school book clubs on events, discussions, and fundraisers. I wish I could use it to remind students when their books are coming due but I wouldn’t want to jeopardize them with their phone going off in class because of one of my text. And yet, I know they should have it off. I do like the fact that this is an app as well as a website and free.

      • Wow!!! I love the idea of a library day reminder. My class has library on Monday and Remind will be so useful in getting a note to families. Thanks for the idea. :)

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