School is back in session. This means, invariably, that people are debating whether to ban homework and whether it’s OK for teachers to text their students.
It’s a tough question, this texting thing. There are definitely best practices, like (1) make sure it’s OK with your students and their parents, (2) don’t text your students too often, (3) unless it’s really important, don’t initiate a text with an individual student.
Remind keeps everything easy and safe. There is a web version and a phone app, and both are beautiful and easy to use. Students and parents can subscribe to your reminders by sending a quick text to a phone number that is not yours. Most important, communication is one-way: You get to talk with them, but they don’t get to talk to you.
Here’s a screenshot of what Remind looks like:
I used to bristle at the one-way communication part. After all, isn’t it weird to receive a text message and then not be able to respond? I think the answer to that is yes.
(If you’re in that camp, it’s an easy solution to offer a Google Voice number to your students and parents if they want to contact you directly.)
Teachers are using Remind in many ways:
-remind students of homework,
-remind students to study for a quiz,
-capture and send key info from day’s lesson,
-ask homework questions and do formative assessments.
Remind also has a ton of new features, which are pretty slick, including the ability to send attachments and audio recordings. The Stamps feature lets students and parents interact with your texts via the Remind app, so teachers can ask quick homework questions, take a poll, ask parents for help on a field trip, among other things.
I plan on using Remind this year with the 162 students participating in the Kindle Classroom Project. Because I don’t see them more than once a week, I might want to send out an announcement about new books or an upcoming meeting.
Teachers, what do you think about texting your students? Do reminders help or hinder students’ personal responsibility? When is texting too much or too close? Would your students like Remind, or is it too impersonal?