I’m considering introducing the app Remind to our Hennepin Technical Pathways teachers. Has anyone had success with using this? Our attendance is good at our site, but reminders of upcoming tests, projects, etc, is what interests me. strong text
Yes - we have been using this at NECA for the past couple months. I strongly recommend it for your purposes!
Rob Schoch has been doing work on this at Gateway too. Both he and Ben are doing some cool stuff with it. I’m signed up to the get the NECA text messages, and I can see how they would make a big difference in engagement and connection and attendance. They’ve got a really good tone to them.
A token example illustrating the power of this simple tool just happened to me. One of my students left school early today on account of a bad interaction that occurred with a friend. An hour later she messaged me on Remind asking for her Google account login so she could complete her project at the public library, then she wanted the teacher’s e-mail so she could get it in on time. I gave her the info and then we exchanged a couple more messages. She was able to get her work done but more importantly was able to end her week reaffirming her connection and relationship with school, rather than ending with an ugly incident and probably not wanting to come back on Monday.
SECA is looking to try some new things to impact school attendance. Anyone else familiar with this website?
http://www.attendanceworks.org/ and particularly
Anyone (@Janet_Dunnom, @BenDrewelow, @RobSchoch?) want to band together and share what works with the Remind App, or coordinate trying some other stuff from this website?
SECA is having our first meeting of the new attendance committee on Monday 5/7 afternoon…
I’m listening… I personally focused very hard on issues around attendance at NECA for the first half of 2016-17. Some of the things we initiated then have become embedded (Remind App, making laundry machines available to students). What I found in researching the topic is that there really don’t seem to be any magic bullets. For students who are frequently or chronically absent, what can improve it is going to a school that feels to them like a really, really great place to be. Socially, academically, and personally.
I’ll have to look at the AttendanceWorks site and see what’s there, thanks for sharing!
I’m not familiar with attendanceworks, We rarely have issues at HTC because a students attendance is part of the grade they receive. The only experience I have is from when I worked at SECA. Friday’s were usually bad for attendance. I usually brought food and planned a “hands-on” activity for Friday’s. It helped. Sometimes.
Ok, @BenDrewelow, say we’re setting up a remind app pilot for the rest of this quarter. I’m thinking, we give students community service hours or advisory credit for participating in the pilot; we give them some kind of “human centered” survey before we start using it & survey them again the last week of the quarter; we get a staff to lead the pilot and message the students…
What do you recommend we try to do with the app? What are the best ways to target its power?
What Remind can do is make staff-to-student and student-to-staff communication more efficient and removes some of the limitations as far as how we traditionally communicate. Simply, it allows us to text one another without sharing phone numbers. So that’s the power of it. Imagine if you could text your students without crossing any professional boundaries, what could you do with that? How could you stay more connected to students? How could you check up on students more? How can you follow up with students more? How could you use it to provide feedback? How can staff use texting to help students feel more connected to school? I ask these questions, not rhetorically, but in earnest because I think however you might answer those questions can guide your implementation.
The hardest thing at NECA has always been getting students to sign up initially and then to stay signed up. Often times they get a new phone or a new number and then they’re not on Remind anymore. We’ve never had more than about 60% of our students active on Remind at a given time. But we definitely see benefits for the students who keep it on their phones. So, one recommendation I have is get as many students to sign up as you can. Remind is kind of like a restaurant in that way. If you walk in and the place is empty, nobody is eating there, it seems kind of dead and unappealing. On the other hand, if the place is full and people look like they’re having a good time, it seems like the place to be.
We use it really in two ways at NECA: 1) to send out some global announcements and things like that (although we don’t really do this a lot anymore). 2) For staff and students to be able to communicate directly. This is the way we are using it a lot.
Here’s a couple examples of what that looks like for me:
“Hey, I noticed u missed the past couple days. Don’t forget it’s your turn to lead Circle tmrw. Lmk if u need anything or just to talk.”
“Wow, (name), it took a lot of courage to get up and give your presentation today. Powerful stuff. ”
Really- it’s just normal teacher stuff, but texting. Nothing really that magical about it. Students (and parents) respond to texts. I find that students remember Remind texts I’ve sent them weeks later, whereas they can seemingly forget about verbal communications like instantly.
OK that was kind of a long ramble and I don’t really know if that helps your pilot or not! My recommendations are 1) Get as many students signed up as you possibly can, and 2) Use it to text kids. There’s really not that much more to it.
Some bad news for Remind users. Remind will no longer be able to send SMS over the Verizon network. This is due to a new policy at Verizon about spam messages being sent to their customers. They are charging a heavy carrier fee to spammers. That’s probably a good thing, but unfortunately they aren’t making an exception for Remind, which is obviously not spam.
This is a big disappointment for me, because I know several teachers who use this tool regularly and I’ve promoted it quite a bit. It’s a very efficient way to communicate with students and families. This problem can be avoided if back end users ensure that all their participants are installing the mobile app for Remind, and not just signing up to receive texts. This seems like a simple fix but I know that it’s an extra hoop to jump through that will water-down the impact of this tool. Bummer.
More info, including a campaign to put some social media pressure on Verizon about this. Tweet at Verizon with the hashtags #reversethefee and #notspam. Tell them that they are breaking something that is of value in our schools! Who knows, maybe they’ll change their position before January 28th. That’s the date Remind has set to stop sending SMS messages to Verizon customers.
Yeah, I just got this notification as well. I hope Verizon reverses the fees, as I could see it killing the company’s effort.
The nice thing about Remind is that it shows up right in your texts. Asking kids to download an app is only half the issue. If kids are using the app, they have to remember to use the app instead of their texting service.
Good news! Crowdsourcing to apply pressure on Verizon seems to have worked. Remind just announced Verizon is reversing the fee, which will allow Remind to continue operating as-is. Alright!