Review by Caryn Lix, Common Sense Education | Updated May 2016


Teachers' text reminders give students -- and parents -- a reason to check their phones

Subjects & skills

  • Communication & Collaboration
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (84 Reviews)
Common Sense Privacy Evaluation

The privacy evaluation process categorizes edtech tools into the following three tiers:

Use Responsibly

Indicates that the service meets the minimum criteria and more research should be completed prior to use.

Use Caution

Indicates that the service does not clearly define the safeguards to protect student information.

Not Recommended

Indicates that the service does not support encryption or lacks a detailed privacy policy.

Take a look inside

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Pros: Meeting students and families where they (often) already are -- on their phones and online -- can help make education a priority.

Cons: Without mindful use it could be more enabling than empowering; students in varying parts of the digital divide may have different access.

Bottom Line: Well-designed, widespread messaging tool can keep students and families connected with their schools -- provided they have access.

Remind works well as an efficient means to reinforce communication systems you already have in place. In addition to a class blog, teacher website, or hard-copy assignment sheet, you can send (or schedule) a text message (including images and audio) to remind students about important due dates, upcoming tests and quizzes, schedule changes, field trips, or other pertinent information. In fact, Remind suggests back-to-school nights or conferences as a great time to introduce the service and share sign-up instructions with families.

Remind can also be used to extend encouraging messages, perhaps before exams or tests or even before a day with a substitute teacher. Teachers can get around the 140-character limit by sending an attached document with longer messages, send field trip forms that have mysteriously vanished in backpacks, and use many other functionalities, making Remind a one-stop parent-teacher communication tool.

Editor's note: In the past, Common Sense Education has partnered with Remind. However, our reviews maintain editorial integrity and independence.

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Remind is a safe, classroom-friendly communication tool (on the website or Chrome app) to help teachers send messages, en masse or targeted, to students and parents. Using the tool, teachers can send messages to students and families without disclosing personal contact information and without students and families having to share theirs. Messages can also be translated into 70 languages. While Remind used to be a one-way messaging app, new features allow parents and students to communicate with the teacher as well, but teachers can independently decide to disable this feature. Teachers can also choose to communicate with individuals or small groups and even collect funds for fundraisers, supplies, or events (with a small fee per transaction).

Teacher accounts can juggle multiple classes. Sign-up is easy. Simply share a class code with students (or parents) in each class. Students use the code to enroll, and after a confirmation they'll begin receiving all messages. Students and families can choose to receive class messages as either a text or through an email account. Teacher accounts can include up to 10 classes with an unlimited number of subscribers per class. While Remind is great for sending reminders about homework and assignments, teachers can also use it to send photos, videos, and documents.

Teachers and parents know that organization and time management are important predictors of students' success in school. Furthermore, consistent communication between school and home helps students develop these two crucial traits. Remind's simple tool seems to be predicated on these ideas.

By posting assignments, reminders, and updates to the devices students use every day, teachers can empower them to be more proactive about their learning. And inviting families to subscribe can help keep everyone up to date about what's happening in class. When asked about incomplete or missing assignments, "I didn't know" could become an excuse of the past. That said, while Remind automatically includes every subscriber, teachers have no guarantee that any message will stand out amid the excess of students' other texts. There's also no guarantee that all students will want -- or be able -- to subscribe at all. That makes Remind most efficient as a parent-teacher communication tool. Although it definitely provides value to students, the main draw will be a simple, private way to communicate with families.

For educators interested in how Remind handles privacy and safety, please consult our evaluation.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Students will be grateful for the extra support and the chance to use their phones constructively. Parents will appreciate being kept in the loop.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Communication is key to students' success. This supplemental tool can help students follow through with assignments, giving them a leg up. Families will appreciate the direct connection with the classroom.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Students can benefit from assignment reminders and class alerts -- but only if they have access. Should teachers need help, the site offers a thorough FAQ “Knowledge Base” with additional email assistance.

Common Sense Reviewer
Caryn Lix Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 84 reviews) (84 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Kristen Z. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Marshall Elementary School
Wexford, United States
Great website/app for keeping parents in the loop with upcoming events, tests/quizzes, and any other reminders!
I love this product, and I love that they even made changes to update it through the year that I have been using it. That tells me that the creators are listening and making changes to best meet the needs of educators. I would love to maybe have my students who do have smart devices to sign up next year so that they can get the reminders as well. The parents loved it too! Even though I constantly send out emails to communicate with my the parents in my classroom, the parents commented that they liked ...
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