Disclaimer: I started to write this review a few weeks ago; I had just gotten and started to use this app and thought it was great. However, I decided to put off the review until I had been using the app for longer than a few days in case my view of the app changed. I also wanted to get some student input about my use of the app in class.

Remind101 is an app for your iOS device. It allows teachers to send secure, free message reminders to students and parents. The message reminders can be in the form of text messages or emails. You can even receive both! The app is super easy to use, and setting it up literally takes 2 minutes.

Here’s how the app works:

IMG_13321-Teachers have to begin by creating an account. This takes just a minute to put in your name and email address, and doesn’t require that you authenticate your email.

2-You then create classes in the app. Creating a class is as simple as tapping the + button and giving it a name (for example: “Graphic Design Period 2”). You are able to add up to ten different classes.

IMG_1339

3-Then Remind 101 will automatically create a graphic to share with your students and parents.
4- Students and parents join the class by texting the message to the number provided.
They will be prompted once to provide their name in a reply message, and then they are done.

5-Now the teacher can send a message by tapping on the compose button, and simply typing a message. You have a maximum of 140 characters that you can use. Afterwards, simply tap Send and everyone receives your message in the form of a text message.

Watch the instructional video HERE.

Advantages

It is obvious that the developer of Remind 101 has some background in education or spent time with teachers when developing the app. There are a couple of other really handy features built into the app that warrant mentioning.

  • IMG_1335You can schedule a message to go out in the future. When you are creating the message, instead of tapping the Send button, tap Schedule. You can schedule something to go out anytime in the future. The user selects the date and time for the message to send.
  • Messages can be sent to multiple classes at the same time. Just tap on a class and then the Compose button, and you can add another class by tapping on the + button next to the To field.
  • There is a message history area, where Remind 101 will keep track of every message that is sent as well as show you your future scheduled messages. This is a great feature to have, especially for teachers who keep parent contact logs for their school.
  • Phone numbers remain confidential. Neither the student or parent can see the teachers phone number, nor can the teacher see the student phone number. Text messages are delivered from an third party number and can not be replied to.
  • There is no limit to the number of students and parents that use the service or the number of messages that you send.
  • Students and parents can sign up for email OR text message reminders, or both!

Classroom/Education Uses

In my classroom, I have been using Remind101 as a reminder with my students. When I assign homework or another activity, I also take a moment to schedule the message reminder for the day before the assignment is due. Students tell me that they love the messages and it certainly helps a number of my students who are a bit organizationally challenged.

I also plan on using the app with the team that I coach in the fall season. I can send out practice reminders, schedule changes, and even score updates. In the past I’ve simply created a group message on my phone, but when student reply to me or one another, everyone receives the messages. Using Remind 101 will keep it simple and easy.

Building Administrators, why not use Remind 101 to remind your teachers about faculty meetings or as an alert about a school cancelation? Many smaller schools have not invested in a text client to send messages to faculty when these events occur. Remind 101 could serve as that service.

This is just a great app that I see myself using quite a bit in the following years. It’s easy, free, and takes advantage of current technology trends (text messaging). Kudos to the developers for creating something that works so well. You can learn more about the app by visiting their website.

Remind 101 is available in the iTunes store. It is a free download. Remind 101 is optimized for the iPhone 5 but will run on older iPhones, iPod touch Devices, and the iPad. The app requires that you have iOS 4.3 or later.

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4 thoughts on “Remind 101: an app for classroom communication

  1. Fantastic app! Been using it for most of this year. Handy also on large field trips to keep track of students. I have them register on the bus before we go to NYC for the day, then delete the group when I don’t need it anymore.

  2. Dear Mr. Orilio,

    I just noticed that you posted about Remind 101. I am Helen Levy-Myers, CEO of Athena’s Workshop. We have built a parent-teacher-student communication platform that is similar to Remind 101, but offers additional features: anonymous two-way texting so that parents and students can ask and follow specific questions and Spanish translation, so that you can send your message out in English and parents can read it and respond in Spanish.

    Since you use Remind 101, I wanted to invite you to try Athena’s Workshop. We have a free trial at: http://www.athenasworkshop.com/TeacherSignUp.aspx.

    Also, I would love the opportunity to speak with you about your experience with Athena’s Workshop and get your feedback. So feel to call or email with any comments or suggestions.

    Helen Levy-Myers
    Founder & CEO
    Athena’s Workshop, Inc.
    hlevy-myers@athenasworkshop.com
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/helenlevymyers/

    703.615.4429

  3. Although the reviews for Remind 101 seem to be positive for additional teacher to student-parent communication, what seems to be missing is what Remind 101 is getting from their subscribers? Apparently, the application is free to teachers and subscribers, if that is the case, then how does Remind 101 generate revenue to pay for infrastructure and employee salaries? It appears simply to sell the subscriber information to interested third party vendors. After reviewing Remind 101’s “privacy policy,” it certainly seems to allow for this, otherwise how would this company generate revenue? So, is the application really free, if the subscriber is receiving third party vendor unsolicited advertisements and communications costing them their time to stop, review and delete these texts or emails???

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