Communication. The ever so important aspect of…well…everything! As a director, sponsor and classroom teacher I’ve worked my way through my share of phone trees, as I’m sure many of you have. Phone trees are tedious, take way too much time and in today’s world, honestly, aren’t that effective. Many studies are now showing, teenagers are texting more than they’re talking on the phone, so why not meet them where they are? Send them a text! “But that’s even more work than calling” you say?! Hmmm…used to be! But thanks to Remind 101 you can text your whole cast, club class or group at once!
Just to be clear, this review comes from my personal opinion of this app and I do not receive any compensation from the makers of Remind 101 whatsoever.
As you’ve probably read before, I LOVE free apps and love to share them with you so here is another one that I think you’ll love too! We’ve all opted into text notifications using that special “Text suchandsuchcode to ###” format. Well now you can set up the same type of mass notification system for the groups that you work with through Remind 101.
What It Is
Bluntly, Remind 101 is the solution to your mass communication problems! But lets spell it out for you in a little more detail.
Remind 101 is a one way texting system that is a safe alternative for teachers to contact students, in mass. It doesn’t allow the teacher/director to see the numbers of the students or vice versa, nor does it allow you to message individuals, only groups. This is great for keeping that “safe distance” in communication that educators need. For those students who may still not have texting they can sign up to receive messages in their email inbox instead.
While the app is free, you will want to make sure that the people signing up for your groups know that standard text messaging rates do apply. Now you may notice I’ve said for teachers to contact students, however, this app is great for anyone needing this kind of mass messaging system. Some of the verbiage used within the app is student-teacher oriented since that’s who this was originally designed for, but it is nothing that is too big a problem.
If you’ve ever had something come up and had to cancel a rehearsal–maybe you wake up sick and have to cancel–the Remind 101 is the perfect solution for notifying everyone! I have personally used it in many instances to get word out about a change in schedule or various other things. Personally, I have found it more useful with the shows I’ve been directing and clubs I sponsor and I do use it regularly, but I also intend to try and incorporate it into my classes next school year.
Features of Remind 101
- You can have up to 10 classes, but if you need more, just contact the developers! Their site, remind101.com says that they can possibly add more for you if needed. (Remember, it was designed for teachers so they’re called classes, however, there is no reason they can’t be groups)
- Unlimited subscribers for each class/group. That’s right, there’s no limit! So if you run a large group, no problem!
- It’s private. Teachers never see students numbers. Students never see the teachers.
- Easy to use. Subscribers simply send a text or email to subscribe to the list!
- Scheduling. Do you want to set up some notices in advance that will just go out when they’re supposed to? Great! You can do that! Using the scheduling feature, setting up your notifications in advance is simple.
- History. You have the ability to look back and see what messages were sent to who!
- Custom subscriber codes. You can set up your custom code that people will text to sign up!
Using Remind 101
Using Remind 101 is simple and straightforward. First, you can use this link, Remind 101, to visit their site. Once there, simply click the “Start communicating with your class” link. This will take you to the sign up page, and as you can see simply fill in 5 fields and a click, and you’re on your way.
Next, you will add your first class and create the custom code you want to have people text to enroll. Now, while you can add the classes from your mobile app, one drawback I’ve found with this app, is that you can’t create the custom codes for your classes on the app. You must be logged in on a computer to access this feature. But in reality, it’s probably easier to get it all set up from a computer anyways.
- Text your code to the given number
- They will receive a response text asking them to send their name that they will be seen as to the teacher
- They’re ready to receive your notifications!
Once you have people enrolled to your class or group, you can send messages to individual groups or multiple groups at once. If you’re doing a show, and you don’t need that show anymore because the production has come and gone, just delete it and it won’t count against your 10 class/group limit!
I really like this app! There really aren’t many cons. However, one complaint is that the verbiage is all classroom/teacher oriented. I wish it wasn’t, but it isn’t anything that I can’t live with. The second complaint I have is not being able to set up custom codes from your phone. At first, I didn’t even know about custom codes because I learned about this app through the app store and I had never seen the website to find out that it had that capability! So my first couple of groups had some crazy code to send which wasn’t as easy as it would have been with a code I created. But, you live and learn and now that you’re reading this, you get to learn from my mistakes!
Give Remind 101 a try! This app could very well be the solution you need! Have you come across another app that you have found useful like this? Leave a comment about it below!
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