Sunday, December 4, 2016

12/4 Tech Review #4: Remind

Cost: free.

A few weeks ago, I started getting emails from a student (who’s not in any of my classes), asking me to join “Remind.” When this assignment came up, I decided to investigate and see why I might want to!

It looks to me that Remind might be very useful for me and for my Freshman English team. Here’s what Edsurge says about it: ‘Remind (formerly Remind101) is a communications tool that lets teachers text-message students (and their parents) without exchanging actual telephone numbers. The texting is only one-way: Messages go directly from the teacher to classes of students or parents; teachers cannot message individual students.”  It offers updated options that include voice messages as well as email or texting. Since I don’t have a smartphone, the variety of platforms is key.

It seems that Remind, though very much a single function tool, could be useful because it is very directed and also very secure. Without the inherent risk of Twitter, Remind can contact both students and parents to . .  . remind (sorry) them of key dates, expectations, and assignments. I also think it would be useful for other student groups such as the Readers&Writers Group I lead at MDIHS.

Although my district does not have a large ELL population (yet), there is pressure for Remind and a similar program, ClassDojo, to develop the ability to send messages in other languages for students whose parents aren’t fluent in English. Remind Translate, backed by Google Translate, provides six language options. What a great way to reach out to ELL families!

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