You can get to nearly limitless worlds of knowledge and information by simply reaching for your phone.
Education technology is transforming the way we think about learning, and apps are putting new means of collaborating and acquiring skills at our fingertips. From designing your own multidimensional flashcards to creating collaborative schedules weeks in advance, education apps and innovative online tools are presenting us with new possibilities we could have only dreamed of a few years ago.
To help you keep up with the latest and greatest technology updates, Noodle brings you the App of the Month series.
This month, we are excited to feature Remind, an app that lets teachers and school administrators communicate seamlessly with parents and students.
What is it?
Remind is an app that allows teachers to stay in touch with students and parents easily and safely. This tool lets teachers send messages by text (or email if texting isn’t available) to students’ or parents’ phones, regardless of the model of the device. Remind protects the contact information of everyone on the platform and saves each messaging history to ensure the transparency and safety of all communication exchanges.
Remind messages are concise; users are limited to 300 characters at a time. The app supports a variety of media, including personalized voice notes, pictures, and PDFs. Teachers have the option to send one-way “Announcements” — for instance, to let parents know that the class has safely arrived at its field trip destination — or “Chats,” which are exchanges between users that allow them to discuss, for instance, staying after class to review a student’s paper. The Chat function even enables teachers to set “office hours,” or scheduled times when they prefer to receive messages.
Who would love it?
Teachers will love Remind because it makes communication between school and home easy. Ready communication has, in turn, been shown to increase student engagement in learning. Instead of using outdated websites or lengthy email newsletters, educators can send information in bite-sized pieces, keeping parents up-to-date in real time, alerting them to upcoming events, or providing positive reinforcement to struggling students.
Parents will love Remind because it not only allows them to keep track of important dates and forms, but also lets them become more easily involved in their child’s educationday. By viewing pictures of projects or listening to a voice clip of their child reciting a poem in class, parents are able to have instant connections to the classroom. Additionally, teachers can update parents about coursework that was completed, or even share prompts that parents can use to initiate conversations about what their child is learning in school.
For instance, elementary school principal Adam Welcome, who uses Remind, gives the example of a teacher telling parents about the book that students read in her class, and sending a guiding question like, “Ask your child which was her favorite character in the book and to give you three reasons why.” This takes parental involvement a step further. Rather than simply keeping families updated about student activities, Remind enables parents to be directly involved in the learning itself.
Students will love Remind because it lets them find out about important announcements, receive assignments and feedback, communicate with teachers, and engage their parents in their school lives.
Administrators can use Remind to quickly inform staff about professional development opportunities, scheduling changes, or policy reminders. They can even send motivational messages on a dreary Monday.
How is it making an impact?
Remind’s success lies in its simplicity. According to the company, a staggering 35 percent of K–12 teachers in the United States use Remind to get in touch with parents and students, and of those educators, more than 80 percent say that the app has made a positive impact on their teaching. No matter how school communities use it, Remind fosters success stories. One Title I attendance interventionist in Chicago used the app to reach out to at-risk students in the mornings to encourage them to come to school, and said the app reduced absenteeism by as high as 20 percent. And Principal Welcome (mentioned earlier) noted that 99 percent of parents who responded to a satisfaction survey found Remind messages to be helpful.
Check out the Noodle App of the Month for September 2015, Companion, an app that helps to keep students safe on college campuses.
Noodle has no ties to or affiliations with Remind.