Saturday, October 20, 2012

Talk with a Kid about Remind 101 (Free Text Messaging to Students)

Remind 101 is a text messaging service teachers can use to text students from a computer for free without collecting students' cell phone numbers. It's a "one way street," so students cannot text back.


I had a great talk with my 16 year old daughter Sylvie last night about her favorite teacher's use of Remind 101, and while I have encouraged her to write and publish her observations for herself, she is so busy that might not be able to happen in a timely manner, so I figured I'd go ahead and share her really interesting observations.

Here's what she said:

-Remind 101 makes a big difference in how I feel about my teacher and class. My favorite teacher has small children, so I know how busy he is, but when he takes time to text me, I know he's thinking about us, and that's really important to me.

-I like that you can't text back on Remind 101. Kids get too dependent on asking a bunch of questions. Everybody just needs to figure out most of those questions they have for themselves, so responding is not necessary or even desirable.

-I can't imagine how different school would be if every teacher used Remind 101. It could really change everything for the better.

-The timeliness of the reminders is an important factor. For example, when my teacher texts me and says, "It's almost 8:00. Don't forget to tune in to the debates and take the notes we discussed," I get excited to do the assignment. We're all doing it together.

-I do not think parents should sign up with their students' teachers for Remind 101. The point is to start making students more independent and if they are still depending on their parents to remind them even though they got the reminder, that just doesn't make sense. It should be the student's job to get the work done.

To be fair, Sylvie says Remind 101 is just one technique used by her favorite teacher, Mr. Matt Mahony of Conroe High School. "He has a system for everything that makes sense, and it's not always technology. It's just whatever is the best thing to use for the process."

--Thanks. Mr. Mahony. We are so thankful you are Sylvie's teacher!)

Learn more about Remind 101 here by reading the General FAQs or watch a video about Remind 101 here.

For a service similar to Remind 101 but with ALL the bells and whistles (students text back, join groups, etc.), check out http://cel.ly/ It's AMAZING. I can't imagine a feature it doesn't offer, and it's also completely free.

1 comment:

Brett Kopf said...

Hi Amy,

Thanks so much for writing about us. It's not often we get to hear student opinions directly so the feedback is helpful.

So glad to hear they like it. If there's anything we can do to improve feel free to email me! brett (at) remind101(dot).com