Starting this fall, students will no longer be able to claim that they never got the assignment--at least, not if Remind’s new updates have anything to do with it. As of August 28, the application now supports structured responses through Stamps, and audio attachments through Voice Clips.
San Francisco-based Remind, founded in August 2011 by brothers Brett and David Kopf and a member of the first Imagine K12 cohort, provides a flagship application that allows teachers to safely communicate messages to students and parents, now with voice and structured feedback.
First up, the Stamps response system allows students and parents to respond to messages from educators with one of four choices: a check, an X, a question mark or a star, roughly marking yes, no, needs help and favorite. Teachers will be able to see student responses both as aggregated information for a class and as individual responses.
“Before, teachers used paper quizzes to assess the effectiveness of different lessons or methods,” Remind co-founder Brett Kopf tells EdSurge. “Now, they can get instant feedback while keeping the product simple.”
Jena Sherry, who teaches math to middle school students online at the Wisconsin Virtual Academy, looks forward to using the Stamps feedback system in her homeroom class. “When kids come into my virtual classroom, I’ll often say, give me a smile if you can hear me,” she explains. “Now, they can do that using the Remind responses.”
Kopf also sees the Stamps tool as facilitating teacher outreach to students’ families. “Parents can star messages of photos, and respond to logistics questions or payment updates,” he says.
But teachers aren’t just jazzed about Stamps. With Remind’s new Voice Clips audio capability, educators can send audio recordings along with their messages. “Recording a message can be important for tone,” says Kopf, and Sherry agrees. When students hear reminders about getting a permission slip signed or praise of a well-done assignment, she believes “hearing [my] actual voice will be more effective.”
Stamps and Voice Clips come on the heels of several other recent updates at Remind. On July 29, Remind launched internationally, and now boasts over one million teachers and 17 million student and parent users. These changes have been met with wild success: As of publication, Remind’s mobile app is ranked #4 in the “Top Free Apps” section of the iOS App Store, and reports 360,000 new users per day.
Remind’s success in mobile feedback response education tools has come as other companies, like ExitTicket and ClassDojo, also step into the space. Kopf sees the competition as “validating the need” for better communication tools for educators, and remains confident that Remind’s close ties to educators will allow them to continue to meet teacher needs effectively. And with input from teachers like Sherry--who suggests improvements like an interactive school supply list and field trip payment tools--Remind’s updates can only continue.