Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Remind 101 is now "Remind" and is more AWESOME than ever!

A couple of months ago, Remind 101 (one of my favorite teaching tools) became Remind. Then they updated their app and website with more amazing features that make it much more than a way to send quick text reminders to students and parents.

If you are new to Remind, here's a short overview of the key features:
  • Remind lets you connect with students or parents quickly and safely.
  • Students sign up to get communications from you (the teacher) and they never see your phone number and you never see theirs.
  • Recipients of your messages can't respond to you directly via text message.
  • Messages can be sent via SMS text message, email or through the app (more on that below.)
  • You can schedule messages. Do you have a test in 3 weeks? You can prepare messages with the info about the test and schedule them to be received when it is relevant to your students.
  • Remind is FREE!
You can check out their website to learn more:

Those are the basics, now for the really cool things you can do with Remind.

Teacher Setup:
You can create a new account and your first class from the App (Android and iOS) or from their website: You give your class a name and then you are assigned (or if you create additional classes, you can choose) a class code. This is the code students and parents will use to register for your class messages.

Student and Parent Sign Up:
Once your class is created, you are ready to add the people who will receive your messages. Remind makes it easy and gives you a PDF flyer you can send home or post in class to help people sign up.

You can also have people sign up for your messages by having them download the Remind app and add your class using your class enrollment code. This is my new favorite way to use Remind, because there is added functionality in the app that makes this new version of Remind much more than a messaging app.

Student or parents who are using the app to follow your messages, can respond to your messages by clicking one of four icons (Remind calls these "stamps"):

There are four stamps and how you use them is up to you and their meaning may vary depending on the context of your message. Typically the star would mean a favorite, the green check would mean I have received this or I agree. The red X would mean I disagree or don't like this. And the question mark means I don't understand understand or I have a question about this/can we discuss this in class?

Students do see how many stamps of each type are shared by other recipients, but they don't see any names associated with each stamp. Teachers can see the names of students or parents and the stamps that they assigned to your message. In this way teachers could conduct quick polls or surveys of their students, check students preparedness for a test, or discover which parents received the letter or homework sent home that day. There are lots of options with these and it's one of my favorite new features of Remind, so have some fun with this.

Teachers can also see how their students or parents are signing up for Remind. The easiest way to view this is through the user dashboard on the Remind website: Select the class you would like to check and look for the subscribers list at the right of your screen. There  you will see the names of the subscribers and their chosen method(s) for receiving your messages.

Sending Messages:
Now that everything is set up and you have students and parents enrolled in your class, you are ready to begin sending messages. You can do this easily from the app or via your user dashboard on the website. Just select the class or the students you would like to send a message to (if you select individual users, you must select at least 3).

In the app or on the website, you can attach files (photos only from the app) or schedule your message to be sent to students at a later date. You are limited to 140 characters for your message, so keep it short and to the point.

From the app, you can now send voice memos to your students so they can hear your voice delivering instructions or asking questions. The voice recording is limited to 15 seconds and you don't have to take the full time if you don't need to.

What Else Can Remind Do?
As great as Remind is for connecting with students and parents, it can also be used for professional development, faculty meetings and other professional uses. One really cool idea that I just heard about was a sort of micro MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) being run by Angela Maiers. Last month she announced a #YouMatter class that she would be running on Remind. I signed up and since that time, I have received dozens of great tips and advice on how to create a school culture where students and teachers believe that what they do matters. If you want to join her class, you can follow the instructions on her website, or simply enter the code @YouMat into your Remind app.

Inspired by this great work, I have also started a Remind class. I will share regular ed tech tips and ideas with subscribers, conduct regular polls through the app, and encourage discussion via twitter.

To join my Ed Tech Tips class and play along, follow these steps:

  • Download the Remind app for iOS (iPhone) or Android.
  • Search for our class by tapping the “+” next to “My classes.”
  • Enter @EdTechTips and sign up.
  • No smartphone? Text @EdTechTips to (302) 536-2705 and follow the instructions.
  • You can also visit and enter in your phone number to sign up.
Remind is a fantastic app and with the new updates and upgrades, it just keeps getting better. Let me know what you think in the comments below or on twitter @wardjhs #edtechtips.


1 comment:

  1. Great information on the Remind app! I think this is a good tool for teachers (especially secondary teachers) needing to connect with student students and parents in a secure way. I already liked the app for quick, short or frequent reminders, (i.e. "bring your book to class") but the new features are an added bonus. Definitely something I will share. Thanks, Jared!