Pandodaily, a Silicon Vally-based tech-news service, highlights a new tool designed to let teachers communicate efficiently with their students outside of class without having to resort to social-media or text-message appeals that might come off as “creepy.”
The free app, called Remind101, essentially enables teachers to send whole-class texts to their cellphone-tethered pupils without showing phone numbers or permitting private, one-on-one communications. It also keeps a message-history log that cannot be edited or deleted.
According to the Pandodaily story, the product had its orgins in a personal struggle. One of the company’s co-founding brothesr, Brett Kopf, was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder and dyslexia as a student and found it crucial to have teachers remind him of upcoming tests or update him on his progress in a course.
“Teachers want to be able to communicate with their students via social media. The problem is that there are a lot of liability issues, so a lot of them won’t do it,” he said. “It [kind of] puts these teachers in a predicament.”
Despite requests from some educators, the company has refused to modify the app so that teachers could message students privately (which would seemingly defeat the whole point). However, it does plan to add a feature that will allow teachers to communicate with designated groups of at least three students.
In September, Remind101 announced that it had raised $3.5 million in venture capital funding.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.