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Tech Task #7 – Mobiles for Learning

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Following Liz Kolb‘s presentation in our Live Session this week, I was introduced to many new forms of mobile technology within the classroom. I think it is quite obvious if I state that most children today quite spoiled when it comes to technology. When I was in elementary school, the closest thing I had to an iPhone was my GameBoy Color and my Dad’s Discman. I find it mind-blowing that so many students have cell phones. After listening to Kolb’s presentation, I believe that the one I look forward to using most in my internship this coming Fall is Remind101.

Remind101 is a service that we use in this class and I really enjoy it. It allows for the teacher to send text messages to the students who have opted-in to the service about whatever the teacher needs to relay. When an account is created, a random numerical code is assigned for all the users to subscribe to. After this sign-up phase is complete, the teacher can begin sending important updates to the students and parents who have subscribed.

There are several positive aspects of using this service. A major benefit of this technology is that it provides a form of anonymity to the users. There are no cell phone numbers exchanged, just names. Another is that it allows direct contact to the parents, rather than needing to go through the student. I know from my experience in elementary school that there were several times when a newsletter would be given to me which would then somehow become lost on the way home from school. By using Remind101, this is not possible.

In my classroom, I can see several uses for this. Sending quick reminders to the parents and students about upcoming tests can ensure that there are no “I didn’t know!” responses when the test is handed out. This service can also allow for handy messages to be sent out reminding parents of fees that may be needed for field trips or information on any upcoming events.

Going forward, I hope to find more technologies to supplement this one, but I definitely see this being a service that I use in my classroom!

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3 Comments

  1. Hey Matt,
    I love Remind101! I have been on the “student” end of it for some of my university classes and with a board that I sit on. It is fantastic to get the notifications (especially in ECMP355 because I would miss every session without Dean’s reminders!). I also used it in my pre-internship, with our students who were involved in the Grade 6-8 musical. It worked very well because, as you said, there aren’t any numbers involved, which makes the students feel better about it, as well as keeps the teacher’s phone empty of all those extra contacts (we had 63 students in the cast). I think of all those students, there were only three or four who did not have a cell phone, so we were even able to use it in a middle school setting. Of course, how many students have cell phones will depend on the school you are in, but it is nice to be able to send the messages directly to the students, instead of having to go through their parents.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Swati says:

    Hey Matt,
    Of all the resources shared by Liz, Remind101 particularly stood out for me. Not only it is easy to use it also gives a sense of comfort to the students. My first experience with it has been really good (in the ECMP355) and I am looking forward to use it in my class when I start teaching (and that would be really soon). What I like that most about this service is that as a teacher you can also sign up parents to receive messages, updating them about the progress of the students in the class without involving students as a communication bridge.
    Simply love this service!
    Thanks for sharing!

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