Using Text Reminders to Help Students Achieve
By Brett Kopf, CEO of Remind101
Studies show that parent and teacher involvement has a positive impact on a student’s performance. However, how much time does a teacher get time with a busy parent? And how do high school teachers, who see students for at most 50 minutes a day, individually connect with students?
I understand the importance of this connection first hand. I am dyslexic and have ADD and without the support of my teachers and parents, I would have had a much more difficult time in school. Mrs. Whitefield, a teacher who went above and beyond to connect with me, reassured me that I could be successful working at my own speed. She also taught me how to effectively manage my learning disabilities and encouraged me to go to college when others did not. However, after a few years at Michigan State University (MSU), I was utterly overwhelmed.
In school, class management and — ultimately — my success, were entirely up to me. That’s when I began thinking. How could I make life easier for teachers like Mrs. Whitfield so they could have a greater impact over more students?
My brother and I started the first version of Remind101 at MSU and failed miserably in the beginning. It wasn’t until we were accepted to the ImagineK12 incubator that I realized we needed to target K-12 teachers and solve this problem for them. That’s when Remind101 was born.
Remind101 is a free service that allows teachers to send text messages to students and parents. Some teachers remind students about tests and homework deadlines. Others remind parents about back to school nights, photo days and field trips. Security is key — no one sees anyone else’s phone number — and students and parents cannot respond to the texts.
Today, over 10 million teachers, students and parents use Remind101 and it is (thankfully) making a difference. We recently conducted a poll of our teachers, asking them how using Remind101 impacted their classroom:
For K-8 teachers, nearly 74 percent reported more engaged parents when using Remind101
Of the same K-8 teachers, 38 percent reported homework turn-in rates improve
And in high school, 63 percent of teachers said homework turn-in rates improved, and nearly 39 percent said classroom participation increased
Remind101 also has a positive impact on teachers. In fact, in grades K-12, teachers reported Remind101 increased their free time by 15 percent. In grades 9-12, free time boosted by 12 percent
Sometimes it’s almost overwhelming to see statistics like this because it confirms that we’re doing is what we set out to do. If I had to pick a favorite statistic, I would say I’m most proud of the fact that more than 63 percent of our high school teachers say Remind101 improved homework turn-in rate. This means a lot to me personally because nearly 10 years ago, I was one of those students who needed that extra encouragement.
Remind101 is a free communication service built for teachers to safely and efficiently update students and parents on important information relating to the classroom and school activities.
Designed with firsthand input from K-12 teachers, Remind101 has a “mobile-first” approach, working seamlessly on any mobile phone with text messaging capabilities.
Through a simple interface, teachers can quickly reach students and parents to communicate deadlines or update them on assignment changes without requiring them to manage yet another account or reveal their personal phone numbers.
Given the challenges and compliance requirements of using technology to speak with children, Remind101 provides teachers with direct and reliable contact to students and their families, with the assurance that they are safely communicating in an appropriate manner.