Twitter has been a great place for us to meet and get to know teachers using Remind101. It’s always exciting to start a conversation with a teacher tweep, and rapidly turn the relationship from a follower to a friend. One notable twitter-tastic teacher that fits just that story is Todd Nesloney, a 5th grade teacher at Fields Store Elementary in Texas and an #edtech advocate. I don’t remember exactly when we first started chatting with Todd, but I do know that after one conversation we’ve never stopped. So I was thrilled when Todd said he would write a guest blog post for us on his use of Remind101.
Let me just start by saying that I love Remind101. I discovered Remind101 in July of this year (2012). I was at a Mathematics conference in Texas, and in one of the “Web 2.0 Tools” session, a teacher interrupted the speaker to tell about a new website she had found. Let me tell you, that after hearing about it, no one was mad she interrupted the speaker. From attending the entire 3 day conference, the Remind101 tool was the most beneficial piece of information that I left with.
After playing with Remind101 a little, my head was spinning with all the ways I could utilize it to communicate with my students’ parents and my 5th graders themselves. I could also see the HUGE benefit of secondary teachers using it. I do quite a few technology trainings for my district and other districts (as co-founder of The 3 Tech Ninjas; @The3TechNinjas), so right away I started presenting on Remind101 everywhere I could. Now I can proudly say that just about every teacher in Waller ISD uses Remind101. I’m also trying to continually spread the word about Remind101 on Twitter (Follow me at @TechNinjaTodd)
Parents have expressed how much more “in-touch” they feel with what’s going on. I send out reminders about tests, homework, field trips, and more. As students get older, many of them do not bring home letters to parents, or relay much information at all. Due to Remind101 that is no longer an issue! I can’t say thank you enough to the developers and creators of Remind101. It is a tool that has completely revolutionized the way I keep in contact with parents and students without crossing any confidentiality or privacy rules! I love Remind101 and am excited for the future of this company!!
5th Grade Math, StuCo Advisor, & Tech Ninja
Fields Store Elementary
Thanks again to Todd and his fellow Tech Ninja’s for being such key players in spreading the word about Remind101. We wouldn’t be where we are without teachers like you!
While emailing with Florida’s Nova Middle School principal, Jermaine Fleming, over the summer about Remind101, I learned that their use of our product came out of a desire to break through frustrations in effective communication between school and home. Their story is an important one, so I asked them if we could share it with the rest of our Remind101 teachers. Jermaine passed on my request and I quickly heard from Casey Woehr, an ESE teacher at Nova MS who shared this fantastic testimonial with me:
Teachers at Nova Middle School (NMS) in Davie, Florida are embracing the
use of 21st century technology to break down the communication barriers
that often exist between school and home. In the past, middle school teachers, who often have 120+ students, have had a hard time sharing classroom happenings with parents on a daily basis. The utilization of Remind 101 during the 2012-2013 school year is helping teachers at NMS overcome this. Remind 101 is being used to help teachers communicate important messages such as upcoming quizzes and tests, changes in homework, and important deadlines with both students and parents. NMS parents are excited about this new communication system, which helps them stay informed with all of the important events taking place in the classroom. Additionally, coaches and club sponsors have created accounts to remind students of upcoming events. All staff members are excited to find new ways to use Remind 101 as the school year progresses.
Happy to be a part of your communication plan Nova Middle School! Thanks for sharing the impact with us.
You can connect with Nova Middle School on Twitter @NovaMiddleTitans.
Terri Street is a Teacher and Librarian at Longfellow Middle School in Norman, OK.
I have been a delegation leader for People to People Student Ambassador Programs for ten years. It’s been my privilege to travel to four continents and over a dozen countries with some of America’s best young people. One of the most difficult parts of the preparation and travel experience has always been communication. I’ve tried postcards, group email, social media and the proverbial phone calling tree to ensure that everyone gets the same information in a timely manner. Sadly, nothing worked the way I wanted it to! There always seemed to be someone who didn’t get the message for one reason or another. One was out of town and didn’t get the postcard, another family’s answering machine garbled the message, another forgot to check email…. You name it, it happened.
Then I read about Remind 101. It sounded promising… a free app that would let a teacher send messages directly to the cell phones of a whole class of students and/or their parents. It didn’t take long for me to realize here was something that might fill the bill. It sounded easy to use and the price was certainly right! So I took the plunge. I signed up online, set up my first “class,” invited all the students and parents to join my class by simply texting one message, and downloaded the app on my iPad. In a matter of days my entire delegation and their parents had enrolled, and we were in business. I started using the app to send reminders of upcoming meetings and assignments, e.g., “Final pre-travel meeting Sunday at 2:00! Don’t forget your presentation & journal!” It worked like a charm. The short, “tweet”-like messages took little time to prepare, and everyone got the message within seconds of my hitting Send. Each time I used it, I liked it better.
On June 23, 2012, we flew out of Oklahoma City for 19 days in Italy, Austria, Switzerland, and France. You can imagine that parents are on pins and needles while we are in the air. In the past I have had to rely on a phone tree to spread the word that we have arrived safe and sound. The same old problems always arose and some parents were left in limbo waiting for information. Not this year! Everyone got the message, “On the ground in Rome in baggage claims. Off to customs next!” without a hitch. Several hours later they all read, “Students all tucked in and sound asleep after a busy day at the Coloseum and Forum. Check blog later.” I used the service to keep parents informed of updates to our travel blog, changes in our schedule, and other tidbits of news like, “5-hour wait for the only working Eiffel Tower elevator! So we are climbing - all 704 steps!”
July 11 we flew out of Paris headed for home. Parents knew exactly when we landed on US soil, our latest ETA, and knew to watch their phones for any flight delays. Every parent was there to greet us, and no one had been there for hours because they failed to receive word of the flight delay. SUCCESS! I also used it to easily send reminders of the delegation reunion party this weekend. I am totally sold. Signing up students and parents for Remind 101 will be the first thing I do with all my future delegations!I can see so many applications for Remind 101 with my faculty and students both in the middle school and with graduate students in the classes I teach at the university. I plan to demonstrate the app for my faculty in our first professional development meeting before school begins so we can begin using it with parents from Day 1. I have no doubt that it will greatly further our outreach efforts and enhance school-home communication.
I am eagerly awaiting the Android version of the application, which I understand is in development. That will make Remind 101 even more versatile since I can use my smart phone to send reminders when wifi isn’t available. Thank you Remind101 for creating this program and sharing it with educators. It has definitely earned its place in my Teacher/Leader Toolbox!
Do you have interesting use case you’d like to share? Let us know so we can blog about it: email@example.com
How are teachers using remind101 and what do they think? Shawna did a great screencast on remind101, this is a follow up. If you’d like to be featured email firstname.lastname@example.org!
I teach High School Math (Geometry up through Calculus) at St. Marys High School in St. Marys,Kansas.
I heard about remind101 from a classmate of mine during an online meeting of a graduate class. He mentioned it in passing and I thought it sounded great so I looked into it. I started using remind101 as a way to bring the everyday technology students use into my classes. I think it is a great way to remind kids of events coming up. I asked the students before I started if this was something that would interest them, and they responded very excitedly that is was. Initially I thought I would remind them about tests and quizzes, but eventually it evolved to changing due dates, omitting questions from homework, and handing out class feedback on tests and quizzes (ie: averages, etc). The students are really appreciating this tool.
I have not opened this to parents yet. I wanted to test run with students before I invited parents to join. Also talking from some parents, the age of students I teach, we want them to learn responsibility and so parents are glad they are receiving texts but don’t necessarily want to join in.
There are many times as a teacher where I have thought, “Oh wait, I wanted them to skip this problem,” or “I’m not going to put this on the quiz since they didn’t seem to understand it,” and I have wanted to relay this to students. Remind101 is an easy way to do this. Even students who are not signed up will hear through the grapevine from those who are about changes. The students admitted to being confused when the first message came through. “Why is Mrs. O’Halloran texting me and how did she get my number?” Then students look at the message and remember. This has cut down the “I forgot” excuse from students. I still hear it, just not as much.
For any teachers interested in remind101, I suggest just trying it. I’m still learning and it is sometimes hard for me to remember to send the messages, but I am getting better. I helped students sign up in my classroom. For the first time, I told students if they were interested to get out their phones and they were going to “text” in my class. They were giddy with excitement. Just this reaction is enough for me to know that I did the right thing. They see me as someone who utilizes the technology they love. They know it is not a common practice and they still are not to randomly text in my class, but that one day was exciting.
I pulled the directions up on the overhead and had students sign up during class. As many teachers know, it is surprising the questions you hear from students. My students text everyday, but still when they received the text back asking for their name, they asked me what they supposed to type. I told them, “Just what it says, your name.” It is days like these that makes teaching fun. For students who were absent, if they wanted to sign up, I helped them do it in a spare minute. There are directions to print off, but I did not use these. When and if I invite parents, then these directions will be useful. I think at parent-teacher conferences, would be a great time to help parents sign up.
The one thing I would like to see from remind101 is a mobile page. Like students, we live with our phones. I will be out doing something and remember that I need to send the messages and it is hard from the full page on a cell phone. Sometimes I think having students able to text back would be nice, but then I think about it again and decide that they can call or email if necessary. I would like to see the ability to text just one of the members of class. There have been a couple times where I want to remind a students to come in before school for extra help, but can’t. Overall, remind101 is great. I would recommend this to teachers. I know there have been times where you may think, “Oh, I wish I would have told them this.” This can fix that. Meet them on their technology level and the response is amazing.
We’re working on a mobile site as we speak! As always, remember that typical messaging rates apply and always consult with parents before using remind101 with students. Leave a comment or email email@example.com with any questions!
Kimberley Lewis teaches Creative Writing, Journalism and Speech 9-12 at Rockwall-Heath High School
Why did you start using remind101?
I was trying to give my students another resource to help students get their work done on time and get messages to groups on campus that I sponsor.
How did you hear about remind101?
I wanted be able to get messages to students in classes and activities I sponsor without giving my personal cell phone number out. Having students as friends on my “teacher” facebook felt awkward, and not all students have facebook access. I had looked into getting a google number, and I was afraid that I would not keep up with it. I didn’t want it to be one more thing to do. Ann Knostman our Instructional Technology Specialist found Remind 101.com for me. It is perfect for sending messages safely.
How do you use remind101 in your class? i.e, reminders, updates, positive motivation…
So far, I have only used it for reminders & updates, but if I have room, I include supporting our teams that are playing that evening.
What problem is remind101 solving for you as a teacher?
I love the ability to set reminders ahead of time. I think it really helps the kids stay on track… especially when journalism has deadlines. I had some students tell me that they forgot about a test. That won’t happen when they are signed up for Remind101.com. It really helped the kids stay organized during homecoming week when the different groups had different places to be.
Have you received any feedback from students/parents? If so how do they like it? (The good and the bad)
I only signed up recently, so I haven’t gotten a lot of feedback yet, but when I rolled it out, one of my students said, “Can you please teach the other teacher how to use this?”
Do you have any tips for teachers who may want to use remind101? i.e, how to get started, how you shared the code with students…
95% of kids and parents use cell phones and email. My best advice is don’t wait to roll it out. I posted the pdf invite on my teacher website. I mass emailed parents, and I showed my students as a warm up one day. We are using a “Bring your own Technology” program at school where the students can use their devices appropriately. I gave them the opportunity to “Sign up now.” It will make communication with parents much easier when they know you care enough to set this up. You are showing you are doing everything you can to help your kids be successful.
Any feedback for remind101? What features/updates would you like to see, if any
I love it. Please don’t cap the number of people we can have in our lists. I would have liked to decide what each group texted to get on the list* @lewis made sense, but @chai would have made more sense to be @chain. I love it though. If that is the worst anyone can say, you know you have an amazing product.
If you are a teacher and want to be featured on our blog, leave a commnent or email firstname.lastname@example.org
*You can choose your own code now!
Ok. We’re bragging a bit here, but this is flat out cool. Jessica R teaches Biology and has been using remind101 since we launched. Check out the impact it’s having on her class:
I had parent-teacher conferences today and almost every parent has mentioned how much they love that their kids are getting reminders about assignments. Students have hardly any missing assignments in my class, which is a huge improvement from last year.
Because of this, students who are failing other classes are getting A’s and B’s in my class. I also sent out a text message yesterday reminding them of the conferences and ended up having more than triple my usual number of parents show up. Thank you!!!
Updates updates updates!
We’ve been growing pretty fast and wanted to update you on our status. Over 3,100 teachers signed up for remind101, 42,700 students & parents and we’ve sent 390,000+ messages in only 7 weeks!
In late August, we added some highly requested features and are about to roll out a few more. We want to hear your feedback! Love something? Hate it? Just want to say hi? We are very accessible. How to reach us, you ask? You could email us (email@example.com), suggest an idea, live chat us, tweet remind101 or comment on our Facebook fan page.
Ok, you get the idea.
If you want to hear what teachers and professors are saying about remind101, check out our shiny new testimonial page! http://remind101.com/testimonials
Some of our favorites:
- Pam V. (8th grade US History Teacher) This has truly been one of the best teacher tools I have ever come across…and I have been teaching for 24 years! Read more…
- Barb W. (9th grade English Teacher) I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE the service and have received very positive feedback from the kids. Read more…
- Ted A. (Math Teacher) Your site has a made a positive impact in my classroom and the students love me using it to communicate with them. Read more…
We love these emails:
*Teachers name kept anonymous by request
“So far, I’ve been LOVING everything. It’s been fun as I’ve had kids making sure to get any announcements to me that they want sent out to the group.”
“Love it! Easy. Quick. Unique way of communicating with parents/students especially at an elementary level.”
“Even the best students can get distracted, remind101 is insurance against this kind of oversight.”
-Dr. Kathryn C
“I most certainly will share this with my colleagues in the next several weeks, and I’m sure some will sign up before school starts! Thanks again for your responsiveness and willingness to us teachers ‘in the trenches.’ :)”
“I love remind101! My students don’t always have their bags, but they will always carry their phones.”
“No no, Thank you for giving me this tool. I used it from day one, and students who seemed like it was going to be ‘just another class’ perked up right away.”
“I love it! Just tried it out on my own phone. I’ll have my students sign up next week”
“Loved it. This is so exciting. I tried it out, and I’m really impressed.”
“Easy, secure, reliable and instant.”
“The response was amazing! Kids were knocking at the classroom door within minutes”
Have you had a good experience using remind101? If so leave a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org. More importantly, if you’ve had a bad experience, leave a comment or email email@example.com. We need to fix that!