Last February and March, my once-a-week class missed four out of six classes due to weather. I was teaching a class at night to student teachers who were coming from all over southeastern Massachusetts.
Remind saved us. It allowed me to text my students as a class, as small groups, and individually to help them manage the content we were missing. Remind also allowed them to keep me up to date on whether or not they could even make it to class, given that an ice storm in one town is sometimes just miserable rain in another.
Remind is a free communication app and website. To get started, you share a code (that is unique to each of your classes) with your students; I put the code in my syllabus. On the first day of class, everyone signs up—it takes about 10 minutes—and then we can text each other without sharing our personal cell numbers.
I use it to remind students about tests, material posted to Blackboard, and due dates. I also use it to send resources, shared Google Docs, or a Quizlet activity. Students use it to send me pictures from classrooms they are working in and videos of an extra-credit activity they are participating in.
The magic tool for communicating with students
The app and the website are equally easy to use, but I do everything from my phone. One of the great things about Remind is that I can schedule a reminder to go out to my students when I know I’m going to be busy. That way, while I’m binge-watching The Great British Baking Show on Sunday nights, my Remind app is sending out a study guide to my students and a reminder that they have a quiz this week.
Finally, Remind also keeps a record of all your communications with your students. If you want to demonstrate your commitment to student engagement and success in a portfolio or you just want to track student responses to questions you might be posing, all of this detail is easily available in your account and downloadable.
Whether the weather is great or lovely, Remind is a terrific tool. Many of my students don’t read their university emails on a regular basis but all of my students check their phones. My students appreciate my gentle reminders and I find my classes and assignments go much more smoothly. I hope you enjoy Remind as much as I do.