When the average teenager receives a text, he typically is not expecting it to come from his math teacher. However, teachers across the country are now finding new ways to communicate with their students by directly sending messages to their students’ phones or emails using a free system called Remind101.
Math teacher Michael Bautista is one of the first staff members on campus to use this free application created by a start-up based in San Francisco. He uses Remind101 because of its reliability and efficiency outside of the classroom. “It’s a great supplementary tool for students to quickly receive updates from me or if I forget to mention something during class,” he said. “I use [Remind101] because it allows me to easily send mass messages to my students.”
Bautista uses Remind101 for a variety of reasons. “I use it to provide students with homework reminders, test tips and extra practice material,” he said.
While Bautista only uses the application to communicate with students, the program is also fashioned to allow teachers and parents to communicate.
After learning about Remind101 from a teacher at a different school last year, Bautista decided to implement the new way of communicating with his students himself.
According to Bautista, he has received positive responses from students in all his classes regarding the Remind101 application. “I think it is a very useful and efficient communication tool,” he said. “Students like it because they can be notified from a device they use often, whether it is their phone or on their email.”
Students agree that the Remind101 is useful simply because it is so convenient. Junior Austin Traver is just one of the many students who have had a positive experience with the program. “I thought it [was] a really simple, nice way to receive assignments and reminders,” he said. “It makes it way easier for Mr. Bautista to stay in contact with us if he needs to change the homework.” Fellow classmate junior Alex Sobil uses Remind101 to know when Bautista will be in his room for additional support. “It helps me know when there’s a tutorial time where students can come in and study or prepare before a test,” he said.
The process of setting up the Remind101 system is fast and simple for teachers and students alike. After the teacher signs up for an account online, they create different classes that students can join through an access code specific for each course. The students can then text the teacher through the class number, all while keeping their personal contact information confidential.
Remind101 is perfectly safe for teachers and students alike. Neither see the other’s phone number or email address. Bautista believes that one of the great features offered by Remind101 is the adjustable privacy setting. “The system recognizes their email or phone, but the teacher does not have to see it if the student chooses,” he said.
Because Remind101 is simple enough for everyone to use, Traver believes that no substantial changes are currently needed. “I don’t see any improvements that are desperately needed; [it] accomplishes what it was made to do. Remind,” he said.
Some improvements can be made however. Sobil believes that the system could function more effectively because sometimes it is difficult to receive messages. “An improvement would be to maybe find a way to prevent messages from going directly through spam filter,” he said. “Sometimes your phone will think that Remind101 is some sort of advertisement.”
Bautista hopes that Remind101 will continue to grow and have more features in the upcoming years as more teachers begin to adopt the system.