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Guest post by Ben Spieldenner, Intro by Christine Garland
Huge “THANKS!” to friend and teacher Ben Spieldenner for writing this guest blog post for us!
Moodle lovers - have you been struggling to get the Remind101 widget on your site and getting stuck with formatting issues? Have no fear, Ben’s blog post is here:
Since the advent of the Remind101 widget, I have been trying to figure out a way to incorporate it into the tech resources I use- namely Moodle. At first, I tried to create a “Block” for it on the sides of my Moodle pages only to discover just how frustrating Moodle can become (formatting never worked out well). So, I decided to try something different. I figured I would highlight the Moodle widget. In the hopes of making a few other educators’ lives a bit easier, I have a simple six step guide on how to effectively integrate the Remind101 widget into Moodle.
This tutorial will instruct you on how to post your Remind101 widget in the “topic” section of your Moodle page. Also, remember to do this for each and all of your Moodle pages.
Login and open up the Moodle page where you would like to post your Remind101 widget. Then click on the icon that looks like a hand with a pencil (see image below) in the heading of the “News Forum” (it will be the first topic). In the image below I renamed this section “Welcome.”
“Edit HTML Source”
Now click on the “HTML” button (see image below).
Open a new internet window, login to Remind101 and click on “My Widget” under “Account”
Copy the HTML widget code by highlighting the HTML text (see image below) and pressing CTRL+C on the keyboard (PC) or by right clicking the mouse and pressing “Copy” as you see below.
Paste widget code in “HTML Source Editor”
Go back to your Moodle window where your HTML Source Editor is still open. You may never have seen this before…it’s ok! All you have to do is paste the code you just copied at the end of any text you see on the HTML Source Editor (see image below). Simply place your cursor at the end of the text and press CTRL+V (PC) or right click on the mouse and press “Paste” to paste your code. Be sure to click on “Update” (green button on the bottom of the window) in order for your code to save.
Finally, click on “Save Changes” at the bottom of the page.
The Finished Product
You now have your Remind101 widget posted on Moodle!
If you run into trouble or have more questions, feel free to reach out to Ben on twitter!
Intro by: Christine Garland, Guest post by: Jacqueline Roth
If you haven’t read my blog post from a couple weeks ago titled, “Should you worry that texting students is “hand holding”?”, I hope you have the chance to do so.
That post was in response to many conversations I’d been hearing, and having, with teachers and administrators regarding concerns that texting students reminders took away their accountability for success.
One teacher in particular inspired me to write that post, Jacqueline Roth, a High School teacher from GA.
Jacqueline shared with me that she had personally struggled with whether or not to add Remind101 to her classroom for the very reason described above. After considering both sides of the argument, she did end up implementing Remind101, and has been very happy with that decision. I found her story fantastic and asked if she would write a guest post to share with all of you why she believes it was the right communication move for her kids.
As you’ll see, her passion as a teacher is to prepare her students for life after her classroom, not just for their test on Friday:
As a high school literature teacher, I know all too well the difficulties in transitioning from middle to high school. In fact, I’ve found one of the primary issues freshman have is merely keeping up with all of their assignments. Day after day of witnessing this struggle, I wanted to find a solution that would produce the desired result of completed assignments, yet keep the students accountable without enabling them. As I shared my concerns with my mother, Dr. Billie Jean Holubz, who is an educator and a member of International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE), she introduced me to Remind101.
At first I was skeptical: Homework sent straight to the student via text? Is this making it too easy? Am I taking away all responsibility and enabling these kids? But then, as I mulled over these questions, I stopped to consider my most basic goal for my students: I want my students to successfully function in whatever they choose to do post-graduation. I know that in my own life, both personal and professional, I send and receive electronic reminders constantly throughout the day. Whether it is a text from my husband reminding me of a social obligation, or an email from a colleague reminding me of a parent/teacher conference, I am constantly in need of reminders to keep up with my busy schedule. Those reminders do not serve as a form of enablement, because I still have to follow through with my responsibility of preparing for the meeting and getting there on time. So it is with my students. When I send a text through Remind101 reminding my students of their upcoming test, they are still responsible for studying and showing up to take the test.
Let’s face it, our schedules are becoming increasingly busy with parent/teacher conferences, grading, lesson planning, and meetings. It’s not too different for our students either; they have a full load of classes, extra-curricular activities, and sometimes a part-time job. A quick text that says, “Don’t forget, your project is due Friday” does not enable the student, but rather simply remind them. The student is still responsible to complete the project and turn it in. So if you’re looking for a convenient way to remind your students of their upcoming assignments, yet still hold them accountable to complete their work, then give Remind101 a chance.
Lassiter High School
Thank you Jacqueline!
Interested in sharing your Remind101 story on our blog? We’d love to hear from you. Reach out to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Effective classroom communication is a key ingredient in any teaching strategy.
On Remind101’s first Hack Day we pulled 10 of our favorite stats about texting in schools and put them into a beautifully designed site to show how adding texting to your classroom communication plan can benefit students.
Click on any image to check out the full interactive infographic created by our lead designer, Lindsay!
Visit the interactive infographic to share and learn more!
By: Christine Garland
The concern that started my research on messaging frequency was from a number of teachers who asked how many times a week they could send a message without being annoying. In other words, “at what point am I just bugging them?”
It’s hard to make generalizations about how often you should be sending out messages to your students and parents. Our data can tell us averages on how often teachers are sending out messages, sure, but it’s based off of so many varying types of classes, teachers, students and schools, that the numbers seem too unspecific to be the basis for any communication strategy.
Nonetheless - they are interesting!
I used two methods to find out how often teachers are using Remind101. First I asked around Facebook and Twitter to see how many messages teachers said they were sending out to students in a given week. The results:
Most teachers responded that they send at least one message every school day, but right behind them were teachers that said they average about two messages a week.
Then we looked at our own data. We pooled all of our regularly active teachers (we qualify someone as “active” if they have logged in or sent a message in the past 30 days), and found that on average our users are sending 5.8 messages a week.
(Not sure how to quantify .8 of a message, but you know, statistically speaking.)
Unlike my social media poll, that number includes Elementary teachers, that are communicating with mostly parents, as well as the teachers communicating directly with students.
Based on this first round of data digging, a message a day seems to be the norm. Does that mean sending 8 messages a week puts you over the threshold? I’m not sure, but I promise to keep trying to find out for you!
In the meantime, I’d love to hear from some of our teachers on this topic:
Have you found the right formula? Is there such a thing as too few or too many messages a week? What about a day?
Wondering the same question as I am, help me get more teachers in the conversation by sharing this post - just use the sharing links below!
Last week we slyly launched our latest feature. The Remind101 widget!
What is it?
The Remind101 widget allows you to display recently sent Remind101 messages on your class website or blog. It’s extremely easy to install and, completely safe to use.
Step 1: Log into your account on any computer and go to “Account”, and “My Widget” in the upper right hand corner.
Step 2: On the next page you’ll see a preview of what your widget will look like when embedded on your blog. To get your embed code and add it to your site, click the blue “Create Widget” button.
Step 3: Highlight and copy the embeddable code on this page. That code is what you will use to add the widget to your class website or blog.
Step 4: Navigate to your class site or blog. Locate where your sites editable HTML code can be accessed. Every website is different.
Step 5: Decide where you would like your widget to be on your website, and find the corresponding code in your HTML view. Once you’ve found it, paste in the code for your widget and update the display.
You’ve now successfully installed your Remind101 widget!
We’re hoping the new Remind101 widget makes communication in your classroom just another small step easier.
Disclosure: The widget is a brand new release for us! So if you run into any bugs, or notice any glitches, let us know at email@example.com
So excited about the widget you just can’t hide it? Help spread the word about our new widget on your social networks!
Thanks for making Remind101 a part of your classroom communication!