Thursday, July 30, 2015

15 Ways to Use Remind

The Remind app has become one of the four legs on my table. I don't want to even talk about managing a classroom without it. There's just so much you can do to connect your students. 


I'm sure this list is not exhaustive, but here are 15 of the ways I regularly use Remind. 

1. Schedule a Message

For a classroom teacher, being able to plan a few lessons and schedule reminders in one sitting is a godsend. 

We are often distracted by the moment-to-moment issues that need some sort of immediate attention, so being able to automate messages is a load off our back.


2. Ask a Question

How powerful is it to ask a question that encourages thought for even 30 seconds outside of school? It doesn't work miracles. But when I ask students about what they learned last class, they jump to respond.


3. Assign a Video for Homework

"Why do I need to send a video in a message? My students should know to check my YouTube channel," said a teacher I hope my kids never have.

You can teach them to check your website or YouTube channel. You can even expect them to subscribe to a playlist. But kids communicate one way: text messages.

Include a short link in a message for the 60 percent of students who don't think about your class much when they walk out your door.

Wow! I'm getting really honest.


4. Receive Student Responses 

You've sent a message. Now what? 

If your students have the app, they can respond by sending a message, link, image, or all of the above with Chat. 


"But I can't force my students to install the app." Of course you can't. But you can remind them that the app will keep your  messages off their text message app. The rest of the smartphone users installed the app when we started using Chat to collect lesson content from students in lieu of my slide presentations. 

More honesty: Teenagers feel sad when the only text messages they reviewed all weekend were a couple of mass reminders from their teacher. 

5. Share an Image

This one is my favorite. I would often take pics of the blackboard, tack wall, or chart paper to share what we did in class. It's great from students who missed, and it's easy for me with the Remind app.

Send a map, famous painting, cartoon, or photo an artifact along with a thought-provoking statement or question. I once shared an image of a trainer teaching a baby dolphin to swim.

Hey! Who said it always needs to be about the content?

6. Multiple Choice

Use Stamps to collect responses with the app. For ABCD, assign the , ✓, X, and ?


7. Crowdsource

Why introduce a concept with teacher material? Students can send images, links, and text to you with Chat. Display the student contributions for discussion about what is and is not relevant to the new concept. 

This activity requires special care to support student confidence as they take risks, and it is so powerful because it mirrors how we most often learn.

8. Reflect 

The best homework assignments are designed to promote reflection on what students learned at school. They can write their thoughts in a journal to share in class or as a period review. 


9. Share a Link

This is my second favorite thing you can do with Remind. Use s link shortener to save characters, and share sites, a video, or something from Google Drive.

10. Personalize Learning 

Think about how lesson planning changes when teachers have homework responses before class begins. Instead of waiting to look at student work after the lesson, the homework can inform the lesson, making it a formative assessment that saves precious instruction time.

11. Digital Citizenship

My students text. They use Twitter and a variety of group texting apps, depending on their click. We can't watch over every move our kids make, but we can model appropriate use of text communication. 

Consider length, word choice, and reason for sending a message. No one wants to read a message that's too long or doesn't have the information they need. Most importantly, emotionally charged messages are dangerous.

Talk about this with your students. It could save them from shame on social media or an unprofessional email. 

12. True / False

Like the multiple choice questions, use the Stamps feature on the Remind app to ask T / F. The X and ✓ work great.


13. Tweet a Message

Sharing student work with parents? Why not share with the world? Or perhaps some of your students prefer to receive messages on Twitter. 

Tweet a message with a few clicks.


14. Exit Ticket

This one is up there with my other favorites. Sometimes a one-sentence summary or 3-2-1 response sent with Chat is all you need to know where your students are before the next class. 

Sharing images and text is a good way to differenciate. Include a link to a source, and we've assessed three learning targets.

15. Manage Deadlines

After using Remind for two years, I've learned that different students benefit from messages at different times. This is something that I fish for at the beginning of the year so that when I assign bigger projects I have an idea about how many deadline reminders to schedule and what times during the day produce the best results.



Please comment to share how you use the app.