Human beings have issues. And one of those issues is that we tend to forget things. Trivial things, important things, things that we did just five minutes ago (I just showered and forgot my wedding band on the bathroom counter; but I’m comfortable right now, I’ll get it later. If I remember…). And we joke that memory is the first to go, yet I can’t count, nor would I want to begin to try, how many times I’ve heard the ole, “But TJ, I forgot”, from my pubescent middle school students and my own pubescent kids. It’s the go-to on the spot; like their crimes are instantly absolved, their penance is automatically paid, and their sins are uniformly and unconditionally forgiven and then thrown into the sea with a millstone wrapped around its neck.
Uh, no. No they’re not. Not by a long shot pal.
My students won’t be allowed to forget anything this year! Why? Because of a delightful little website/app called Remind. I “discovered” this beauty when my wife and I were enrolling our youngest into kindergarten. In the rather thick packet of stuff was a little colored half sheet of paper with this rather curious website on it. It also had a number and a class name to send a “subscribe” text to that would add us to the kindergarten classroom and put us on the “remind” list, to be sent periodic reminders about upcoming events, dates, or to dispense important info. This is brilliant! No, seriously, this is absolutely brilliant! Where was this nine years ago when I began my teaching career?! And I thought I was progressive by giving out my personal cell phone number to all of my students so that they could text me if they have questions after school or on the weekends (I’ve done that and will continue to do that; it just works for me).
And wouldn’t you know it, not a week later, our church started using Remind for the middle and high school ministries to send out their information to parents and students.
Anyway, because I thought it was so brilliant, I signed up for my own Remind, and downloaded the app, the same day that I signed in to my child’s Remind class. This will no doubt completely and totally revolutionize how information is disseminated in my class. Okay, not really totally and completely, but it’s going to be brilliant! So you sign in, you set up your classes, it hooks you up with a PDF of you class names and codes, that you can then print and copy and hand out to every student and parent that you can shove a paper at. Once humans are signed into your specific classes, you can send out specific info and reminders to your specific classes once, and it then transmits to all who are subscribed to your feed. Remind even has a built in chat feature that you can “message” back and forth to individual parents/students. I turned mine off for now because I still want my main form of back and forth communication to be email (parents and students alike). I feel like the possibility of reaching most of my students and parents are even greater with this medium, because in our district, while not everyone has a computer in the home, almost all the homes have at least one smartphone.
I certainly have high hopes for this tool. Now, Lord willing, I remember to use the darned thing…
May the force be with you,
PS. I do not get any kickbacks for linking to Remind, I just think it’s that brilliant 🙂