Friday Freebie: Remind101 - Mass Text Messaging for Teachers!
This year, we added board policy that restricts teachers' use of text messaging with students to those that have a need to contact students outside school hours for extracurricular activities. We did so on council of the Texas Association of School Boards and the policy is really intended to protect our teachers. Personal, one-to-one contact with students, especially when it can't be tracked or recorded has the potential of being misconstrued. I would never want one of our teachers to be accused of anything inappropriate when no harm was intended.
While I support our new policy for the sake of our teachers, I was upset about losing the communicative power of text messaging. Studies show that students use cell phones for texting more than talking, and to disregard this is a waste of a powerful communication tool.
Well, this week's Friday Freebie may be the answer to my prayers. It's a great site that allows teachers to mass text message students without ever seeing their cell phone numbers or the students seeing theirs. And, parents can join in the communication circle too! It's Remind101.
After creating an account through a few easy steps, you can create as many classes as you need. With each class you create, you'll be given a unique code that students and parents can use to send a text message to. Then, they'll be added to that class. They can also subscribe via email!
Log in at any time, pick a class and type in a message. Then, send away! Remind101 even keeps a record of messages sent and who they went out to! Kudos to Bret Kopf, the co-founder of Remind101 for coming up with such a great solution for teachers!
This free site is a no-brainer to any teacher wanting to reach their kids in the way they communicate!
P.S. If you are a Fort Sam Houston ISD teacher reading this, please hold off on creating an account to use with students until I clear this with the "powers that be." I'm sure they'll love the idea!