Saturday, January 18, 2014

How I used Remind101 (texting students)

I have used the web site for a semester ending yesterday. I think it was a success. My biggest unscientific data is that students actually asked me to use it. I not only reminded them about a test or a quiz but little things cropped up here and there. In my last lectures/discussions of the second quarter I really wanted them to listen and not write. I assume most teachers go through this at some point. The students who could multi-task better did their thing. But many did indeed listen. What I did to get this was promising to put the Google presentation link on Remind 101. I did not put it on my web site ( though I will). Even the questions asked had a better quality.

Remind 101 is a site where students sign up with their cell # and the teacher can text a whole class (anyone on that prescribed list). The teacher has no knowledge of the student's numbers. My students felt this worked. One thing had never occurred to me but now seems obvious. As an adult I check my e-mail ruthlessly every day, even many times a day. I even check different accounts. My guys don't. Not like their texts. Their perseverance for updates in their lives is more immediate. I can post on twitter, faceboook,  an email, class web site but none of them will get through like the immediacy of a text.

With this in mind two things strike me. I have under utilized this tool. I can send out information more often, ask to bring a text book that I had forgotten to tell a class to bring, and  other reminders. But this has to be coupled with the second thought. It cannot be over used. When they see a text from me it has to be important. Something where an action has to take place. I want there always to be reaction when they see one of my texts and it matters. 

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