Over the past couple of years, the educational texting application Remind101 has become one of the most important communication tools in my arsenal. As a simple blast-text tool, Remind101 gave me reason enough to put it to use with my classes. But this small start-up has not rested on its laurels. They have continued to make improvements, broadening the scope while maintaining the tool's simplicity.
Remind101 owes a lot of its success to the fact that they continue to seek out advice and feedback from real teachers. They are not the company at edtech conferences wining and dining school district folks with $30,000 events. They are the guys and gals wearing the cool t-shirts and picking teachers' brains around a pint at the small pubs. This grassroots market research has led to several improvements and new features, such as small-group texting and others.
Remind101's newest feature, released just a day or so ago, allows teachers to attach files to their text messages. This is exciting news. Many of the messages that I send through Remind101 points students to resources that I have posted on my class website or Edmodo. Now I can simply attach those files to the message. The attachment does use up 20 characters, leaving me 120 characters for the body of my message. A small price for this great feature, but something to keep in mind. I have not yet encountered a file-size limit.
What kind of stuff would you attach to text messages to students? Homework assignments, reading packets, pics of the class whiteboard, fun pics of class activities. The possibilities are exciting. So, how would you use this new feature? Remind101 is running a contest of best practices. Come up with some great ideas to share, and you could win an iPad. If you have still not given Remind101 a test run, I urge to go there right now and try it out.
Here is a short promo video on Remind101's new attachment feature.