Looking for a simple yet effective way to reach a group of students, parents, athletes, or key stakeholders in a safe manner via text messaging? Try Remind 101. Recently, I have been playing around with this wonderful communication tool to see just how effective it is with reaching groups of people. In particular, I have used it while coaching our middle school softball team. That's right, I have returned to the coaching world and love every minute of it. At the beginning of the season I had our players and parents voluntarily sign up for the free service. Basically, they visited the Remind 101 website, registered, and then joined our private softball group. Anytime there is a schedule change, important reminder, or a positive message that needs to be shared I simply open up the Remind 101 app on my Smartphone, type in the message, and press send. Parents and players will then receive this message from an anonymous number via text message or email. They can not send a message back nor can I send a message to one individual person. Recently they have added a feature that allows a user to send files which is just outstanding.
Many educators throughout the country use this tool in their classroom to communicate with students and parents. Take for example Melissa Tonnessen at Dickerson Elementary School in Chester, NJ. She heard about Remind101 from a fellow colleague before the school year began and decided to include information regarding the service in a back to school packet that parents take home after the September visitation. That information told the parents what the service provided and gave instructions for signing up. So far Melissa has 13 out of 19 families sign up for it, and has used it for a variety of reminders, ranging from "Don't forget that your Reading Bingo is due by " to "No snack is needed tomorrow due to our class celebration." She even used it on the first day of school, letting parents know that it was going well and that I had a class of happy second graders.
As you can see there are so many uses for Remind 101 in the school setting. From athletics to academics, school stakeholders are taking advantage of this very powerful and safe communication tool. It's important that schools meet students and parents where they are in the communication world. At the present time, people want information at their fingertips on a cellular device. Remind 101 makes this possibility a reality. So what do you say? Take the plunge and try it out with one of your classes, teams, or clubs. You never know, they might like it.