Imagine if investing just 30 seconds would lead to a better education for your child. Would you invest the time? The people behind Remind101 hope you will, saying it takes just 30 seconds to sign up for their service that boosts parent-teacher communication and brings students into the conversation.
Remind101 is a free smart phone app that allows teachers, students and parents to communicate with each other via text. Once a parent or student signs up, a teacher can send out homework assignments, scheduling changes, field trip reminders, even motivational messages opening a new channel of communication between teachers, parents and students. It's all about communication: parent-teacher communication and regular, easy communication between teachers and their students.
With studies showing teens prefer using phones for texting over talking, apps that meld messaging with education are an obvious way to bolster communication between teachers and students, says Remind101 co-founder Brett Kopf.
"Everyone has (text messaging), and everyone knows how to use it," Kopf says.
So what's the big deal? Why push communication between teachers and students?
According to a study conducted by Harvard University, on average, teacher-family communication increased the odds a student completed their homework by 42 percent and decreased instances in which teachers had to redirect students' attention to the task at hand by 25 percent. Parent-teacher communication is clearly key to a student's success.
"Kids, parents and teachers don't have a lot of extra time, but I'm sure they care. I know they care," Kopf says.
The idea for the app was born out of Kopf's frustration as a student. Suffering from attention deficient disorder and struggling to overcome dyslexia, Kopf was overwhelmed and falling behind.
Like many kids today, Kopf was never far from his cell phone, although his was a Blackberry and not the omnipresent Apple and Android smart phones of today. Swimming in homework assignments, information and the stress of school, he often wished he could ditch all the paper and use his phone to keep track of what he was responsible for.
"When I was a student, I wanted something like this," Kopf says.
To sign up for Remind101, students just send a text message with their class code (every class has its own unique code). In less than a minute, teachers can start communication with kids in a medium they prefer, as well as guarantee their students are actually receiving the message.
The app masks the teachers' phone numbers from students and vice versa, making it safe on both ends. It's a super quick and painless process, which is exactly why Kopf believes Remind101 works so well.
"We want to keep it simple and solve problems for teachers, students and parents," Kopf says.
They're doing just that — one text message at a time.