Tag Archives: phone

Connect your School with Remind

11 Mar

After using the Remind texting app with my students to connect my classes, I had a thought to connect my entire school in the same way. I’m constantly hearing from students that they are uninformed and don’t know what is going on at school. So, I set out to get my kids connected on their phones using Remind.

I targeted two groups year one, the freshmen and seniors. I knew that I would have those groups together, and that is key. If kids feel they have a choice to signup, most won’t. However, if all the kids are there at the same time and you instruct them to signup to get updates, they will see their friends signing up. That, and the kids get excited when the teacher tells them to take out their phones and do something with them. So, at freshmen orientation and at senior sunrise the first week of school, I had about three hundred kids sign-up for text updates. My students brought out a giant sign with the info needed to sign up and we parked them in front of the crowd as we explained how and why to signup.

Over the next two years we had all four classes signed up. Now, I had the ability to advertise dances, share deadlines, remind kids to bring books for library check in, and remind kids about spirit days (we started getting a better turnout). I would use the app for spirit give-a-ways (hide items on campus or have kids line-up by a certain door, first ten there get a spirit item).

One tip, have your students sign-up by class. For example, my current list is the Class of 2015, Class of 2016, Class of 2017 and the Class of 2018. This way, I can send a text to all groups, or, if it’s just seniors, I can send the text to just the Class of 2015.

How will you use Remind? 

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Podcasting Made Easy, Part II: Sound

30 Jun

As I go back listen to that first podcast I am overwhelmed with how terrible the recording quality is, especially compared to what I have today.  You will also notice that a majority of the first podcasts were audio, now I am dealing a lot more with video.  My development was purposeful, I started with audio technology developing my skill on Garageband to get the best possible edits.  I even developed my own theme song (yah, I’m that nerdy).  However, as time went on, I knew that the quality of my podcasts needed to improve or I would not be able to gain more listeners.  So, I set out to research and learn all I could about sound recording.

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Video on the iPad and iPhone

22 Jun

Film, and a technology, has only been around for about one hundred years, it is still relatively young.  Conversely, story telling, has been around for thousands of years and been the backbone of society and culture throughout that time.  Film takes story telling to another level and gives people a medium to share their interests, ideas and passions.  I recently had a chance to do a lot of work on my iPad as well as my iPhone to record and process video on a mobile platform.  My goal is to find what I can use personally and what I can teach my students to make them better story tellers using film.

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My List of Favorites for Google Voice

5 Apr

With so many great features, what’s not to like? Here are a few of the things I like to do with Google Voice.

  1. It’s Free, who doesn’t want a free phone number?
  2. Are you afraid of texting? Do you not have a texing plan on your phone? Well, Google Voice has texting, and IT’S FREE.  Now, instead of sending texts on your phone, feel free to type them out on your keyboard or reply to them like an email. Many of my older friends appreciate this.
  3. Like email, set up your account to have SMS messages forwarded to your email account.  Then, reply to the text just like you would an email, the text will show up on your students phone like any other SMS message.
  4. In this age of connectivity kids want and appreciate access, in fact they expect it.  So, I teach them about when is a good time to reach me and when is not a good time to reach me.  I also have each student text me, that has a texting plan, with their name.  I then add that student’s name and number to my Google voice account.  Now, if a student is absent or if I need to see them for some reason, I can text them.  Additionally, when I get a text, I know who it is from.
  5. I can turn off my phone.  Google voice has a great feature that allows you to put a do not disturb on your number.  Normally a call or text will forward a call or text to your Google voice number, you can tell your account you don’t want any calls and you will be left alone.  It’s a lot like turning off your phone.
  6. Create a phone assignment, have your students call you and leave a one minute voice mail response to a homework question.  This is a great way to hear from all of your students on a specific item.  Then, the next day, pick your favorites and play them for the class.
  7. Record a podcast.  It’s not very fancy, but have your kids prepare a talk, call your voice mail, record what needs to be said, then download the mp3 to use however you like.
  8. For leadership, this is a great way for my kids to practice leaving a voice mail message.  The kids often have to contact businesses and business owners, I have them call me pretending they are calling a business and to leave a message for a manager or for the owner.  Then, we can have a discussion in class and review how they did with their phone etiquette.
  9. Conference call, have everyone you need to talk to contact your Google Voice number, as people call in, keep adding them till everyone is there.
  10. If you get a really good voice mail, share it with your friends or students via email.  Post it on the web as an example for students to listen to or download.  Either way, Google voice makes it easy to share media.