Remind101 allows safe texting to your class or team

remind101Need a quick, convenient, safe, and useful tool to communicate messages to your class, team, or club? Remind 101 may be the teacher communication tool for you. I have found that trying to find a universal communication tool is never 100% (or even close). Not all students or parents are on Twitter, Facebook, check their email regularly, or visit your website often. Texting is the only true universal and instant communication tool. Remind101 is a convenient, one-way, group texting tool designed for teachers and coaches. The design of the tool helps ensure student privacy along with universal access. I have used this tool in class, and for coaching. Remind you class of tomorrow’s test. Notify the entire team (including parents) that tonight’s practice is canceled. Send messages to your entire field trip group from the mobile app. The application even lets you schedule messages, so they can be entered ahead of time, and sent after school or first thing in the morning.

According to remind101’s website ” Remind101 provides a safe way for teachers to text message students and stay in touch with parents for free. Teachers use remind101.com, the Android app or the iOS app to send texts to students and parents phones without ever having to share their own phone number. Students and parents also never have to share their phone number with teachers.”

What Makes It Safe?

In today’s technology age, finding an appropriate way to communicate with students and parents is a constant battle. Balancing privacy issues, with usability is a true test of a tool.

STUDENTS AND PARENTS NEVER HAVE ACCESS TO YOUR PERSONAL CELL NUMBER Teachers never see student or parent phone numbers, and students or parents will never see their teacher’s phone number. Remind101 messages are sent via an anonymous phone number issued when you sign up for an account. Your personal cell phone number and carrier are in no way connected to your messages.

A TEACHER NEVER HAS ACCESS TO A STUDENT OR PARENT’S PERSONAL INFORMATION Students and parents subscribe to receive your messages by sending a text or email from their personal device with your distinct class code. Once subscribed, they can only be identified by their name (which they provide) on your class roster list.

NO INDIVIDUAL MESSAGING All messages sent with Remind101 go to your entire class. Teachers cannot directly communicate with one student. This prevents any form of bullying, favoritism, or inappropriate conversation between teachers and students.

ONE-WAY MESSAGING Students and parents can’t reply to teachers. This allows teachers to focus on communicating with their students and parents without worrying about managing another inbox.

How do I get started?

Teachers can sign up for a teacher account using their school email address at remind101.com Once approved, your dash board will have you create classes, with unique class codes. These codes will be used by your students and parents to sign up for the appropriate class.  Have students/parents send a text to your new Remind101 phone number, and include the class code for the appropriate class. The system will send them a confirmation message, and if they have not used Remind101 before, it will ask for their name. On your dashboard, you will see the names of participants who have signed up. You are then ready to either and

Some tips to remember?

  1. When you sign up for your account, choose your name wisely. This will be included in your text messages to parents and students during their signup process, and every message will begin with your name.
  2. Your phone number is associated with the name you choose, so don’t use a fake “test” name when testing out the system. When parents and students sign up for your Remind101 class via text, the system will send them a welcome message and ask them for a name. What ever name is chosen, will be associated with their phone number. During a professional development session, I had several staff members signup for my “demo” class using fake silly names. Unfortunately, their phone numbers will now always be associated with those fake names. *NOTE: This can be fixed by signing up as a teacher, and re-associating your phone number with your username
  3. You are only allowed 10 classes, so try to determine the groupings of student/parents you may need without subdividing them too much. For example, I teach three courses but 6 classes. Rather than having a unique class code, I used a course code. This freed up my remaining 10 course slots for various other groups. (athletics, clubs, class trips, etc.)
  4. Remember, this is one way only, so don’t sent messages that would require a response…announcements only.