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Pros: Translation into over 70 languages. Easily share files and links with caregivers.
Cons: Adults not confident with tech might struggle, not all resources are readily accessible and message length in free version is limited.
Bottom Line: Well-designed, highly effective messaging tool delivers on its promise to connect home and school.
Use Remind to efficiently reinforce communication systems you already have in place. In addition to a class website, learning management system, or student agendas, you can send or schedule a text message (including attachments) to remind students and families about important due dates, upcoming tests and quizzes, schedule changes, field trips, or other pertinent information. You can also use it to extend encouraging messages before or after exams or tests, share snapshots of kids hard at work, or even check in with your kids when they have a substitute teacher.
For extended vacations, remote learning, or year-round schools, stay connected while kids aren't in the building: Suggest books to read, send out interesting facts, or ask kids to respond to optional polls to reinforce tidbits of learning. Need parent volunteers or want to give kids a quick review before tomorrow's test? Remind integrates with applications such as Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, SignUp Genius, Quizlet, and many others, making it a one-stop school-to-home communication tool. Other options for productivity allow teachers to set office hours, create collaborative groups, add co-teachers, get read-receipts, and schedule messages. For even more ideas, check out Remind's Twitter feed or the site's blog to get updates about new features and use cases.
Generally speaking, Remind shouldn't be overused. Today's students and their families are often inundated with information -- much of it repetitive -- about deadlines, upcoming events, and assignments. Teachers will want to limit what they send to more important, more pressing information. Plus, you don't want students so dependent on constant messages that they fail to develop the skills necessary to keep track of their own responsibilities. Keep in mind that some students will not have access to a device and will be left out of the conversation, so teachers should make sure that any information that's shared can be accessed elsewhere.
Editor's note: In the past, Common Sense Education has partnered with Remind. However, our reviews maintain editorial integrity and independence.
Remind is a safe, classroom-friendly communication website and app where teachers can send messages, en masse or targeted, to individuals or groups without disclosure of anyone's personal contact information. Messages can also be translated into over 70 languages, though on mobile, it seems that the phone's overall language setting must be set to the home language. Parents and students can respond to messages but may independently decide to disable this feature. Teachers can share text, audio, or video messages as well as links, files, and images. Users can even collect funds for fundraisers, supplies, or events (with a small fee per transaction).
To begin, add members by sharing a link, having them text a class code to a five-digit number, or sending them a PDF with written instructions (in English, Spanish, French, or Portuguese). If you're using the tool for kids under 13, parents must provide email verification. After a confirmation text, they'll begin receiving all messages through either SMS or email. Remind also offers one-on-one math coaching with certified teachers. The first session is free, and weekly sessions cost $40 per 40-minute session. Customizable options are also available on the site. Remind Chat is the free platform, which Remind Hub offers three tiers: Aside from other differences, message length in the free version is 140 characters, while paid versions offer 10,000 characters.
As is true of most school-to-home messaging platforms, Remind assists with the known fact that organization and time management are important predictors of students' success in school, and consistent communication between school and home helps students develop these two crucial traits. What sets Remind apart is its sharp focus on the features that teachers need most: the ability to message whole classes or individuals, attach various media, and translate messages. Though the integrations offer other features, Remind's core platform zeroes in on the basics that matter most.
That said, it could be a bit friendlier, especially for adults -- teachers and caregivers -- who aren't super comfortable with technology. A pop-up walkthrough, PDFs in more languages, video demos in multiple languages, and granular information about how the web experience differs from mobile would be great additions. And though there are supplemental resources on the site, having to enter personal information to access them might be off-putting to some teachers. In terms of the free vs. paid models, the character count limit on messages may make it difficult for teachers to communicate effectively using the free version, thus making the upgrade more necessary.