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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Message Students & Parents Without Revealing Personal Information

I wrote about this service back in 2013, but they've debuted some new features since then, so I thought I'd update. :)

The service makes it super-easy to get the word out to your classes in that it:
  • provides a PDF with step-by-step directions that you can print or post on your class website
  • allows your classes to sign up to receive updates either by text message OR by e-mail 
  • provides a widget code for you to cut-and-paste into your website so that everyone can see updates {regardless of if they've signed up to receive the updates on their personal device or not}

Other key features about Remind:
  • free
  • download the app for on-the-go updates
  • pre-schedule messages or send them in real time
  • ability to attach files to messages
  • set up as many different sections or groups as you want {so you could have a section for your tutoring group, Spanish club, church's youth group, homeroom class, and daughter's basketball team if you want!}
  • view subscribers in each group and the date in which they joined
  • ability to make personal notes about each subscriber {I find this most helpful when I have parent subscribers because I can make a note of which child "belongs to" them!}
  • view all your past sent messages and choose to send them again or tweet the message
  • no deletion available {helps protect teachers and students!}
  • chat feature {more information below}
  • stamp feature {more information below}

Chat feature: available starting in April 2015, but Remind is rolling it out a group at a time. For instance, app users on the wait list will receive it first, and then they'll roll it out to web users. Get your name on the wait list by logging in to the app and clicking on "chat." Learn more here.
  • Unless otherwise enabled, only the teacher can initiate chats
  • Can set "office hours" so you're only contacted during times of your choosing
  • Transcript of all chat history is available
  • Allows you to chat one-on-one with anyone in your group instead of sending a mass message

Stamp feature: available on April 20, 2015:
  • allows recipients of your message to provide instant feedback without the sender getting a barrage of messages
  • Stamp options include these symbols: ★ ✓ ✘ ?
  •  = I like it, I appreciate this, and/or this message is a favorite of mine
  • ✓ = yes
  • ✘ = no
  • = I don't understand, I have a question, and/or I need more information
  • Subscribers see an overall count of the results, while the sender sees how each subscriber answered
  • Great way to check for understanding in class! 
  • Remind's list of 10 suggestions for using stamps {some include using it as a quiz or polling option -- great idea!}

Have you ever used Remind? If so, have you used or will you use the chat and stamp features? If you haven't used Remind, would you consider it? Why/why not?

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