Text-Based Office Hours: Remind Helps Teachers Improve Communication With Students and Parents
In an age when email inboxes are overloaded and parent-teacher conferences may only occur twice per year, teachers can use a free tool called Remind to communicate with both students and parents. “Remind allows teachers to connect with students and parents via smartphone app or SMS mobile messaging,” said Brett Kopf, Remind’s CEO.
Remind provides a free service for teachers to connect to students and parents
Kopf founded Remind with his brother David in 2011. The San Francisco-based startup worked with teachers to develop the messaging service, which can be used for instant chat between teachers and students or parents, or to send messages about upcoming tests or project due dates.
“Teachers have the ability to preset message alerts to go out at specific times, as well as set office hours to make themselves available while also maintaining boundaries,” Kopf said.
1.5 million U.S. teachers are currently using Remind
Remind works on the Web, tablets and smartphones. It currently has 25 million users, including 1.5 million U.S. teachers. Since its launch, the platform has delivered more than 1 billion messages. The company’s vision is to connect every teacher, student, and parent in the world to improve education.
“Personalized learning tools help students at any age learn in a way that is most efficient for them,” Kopf continued. He noted that a recent Stanford University study showed a positive impact in preschool literacy levels from the use of text messages with reminders and tips to encourage parental literacy involvement at home.
“Tools such as Remind, which opens this direct line of communication, keep parents involved and further young childhood development in fundamental education,” he said.
Remind gives teachers edtech resources in and beyond the classroom
Although school districts are steadily implementing education technology to manage student performance data, teachers are often responsible for choosing which edtech tools to use in their own classrooms. “The future of technology learning is a personalized approach that breaks down the communication barrier between teachers, parents and students at every level,” said Kopf.
Teachers can sign up for the service at Remind.com or by downloading the Android or iOS app. Parents and students can opt in to text messages by responding to an invitation from their teacher or sending their teacher’s class code to the Remind phone number, which is 81010 in the United States. The company also offers a Connected Educator Program that gives teachers a chance to provide feedback on the tool as well as test new features.
“Technology can be a tremendous asset to teachers when implemented effectively and can save time and frustration while also helping a student to flourish,” concluded Kopf.
Erin Flynn Jay is a writer, editor and publicist, working mainly with authors and small businesses since 2001. Erin’s interests also reach into the educational space, where her affinity for innovation spurs articles about early childhood education and learning strategies. She is based in Philadelphia.