Teacher Tip #2

Sorry for not posting sooner, but I've been having serious internet issues. Hopefully it'll be fixed soon, because we're sick of paying for internet that doesn't work most of the time. Unfortunately we don't even have the option of switching service providers, since there is only one company that serves our neighborhood!

Anyhow, I've got working internet now so I thought I'd take advantage even thought it's midnight! Oh the joys of staying up late in the summer. :)

I promised I'd bring you some tips that have helped me to be more productive and spend less time doing busywork. So without further ado, I'd like to introduce Remind101.com.

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Remind101 is a free service for teachers, which allows us to text and email parents while keeping our phone number private. I love it because it required very little setup on my part. I simply signed up and printed a parent flyer from the site to send home. Parents used the information on the flyer to sign themselves up. Every time I wanted to send an update to parents I would log on, type it and click send. And bam it was sent to parents based on their preference (text or email). Easy-peasy. Even better you can chose to immediately send a message or schedule it to send at a specific time in the future. So if you remember something at 11 pm, you can schedule it to send during the following day instead.

I used the service to remind parents about special events, field trips, changes to assignments, and reminders to look for important papers sent home. I could see this service working really well in secondary grades, where students tend to have their own phones. Teens love texting, so it would be a very relevant way to get their attention.

This summer I found some great new features that I'm excited to use next year. The first is a new app, which I'll use to send messages from my iPad. I'm one of the last people on earth not to have a smartphone, but if you have one you could use Remind101's app straight from your phone (iOS and Android). Another great feature I'm excited about is the ability to add a widget to my class website. The widget will display the latest messages I've sent to the class, right on our website.

I highly encourage you to check it out. Parents loved getting updates on the devices they preferred. I loved not having to give out my number to text parents. I made that mistake once... I gave my number out for emergencies only during a field trip, I even specified that it was for emergencies only. Well guess who got a call at 8 pm on Wednesday the following week asking about homework. No joke. Lucky for them I don't answer calls from unknown numbers, because I'm not sure how I would have reacted.

Thanks Remind101, protecting my personal information! If you want to learn more about the awesome-ness that is Remind101, click here!
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