Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Why I Don't Use Remind 101

Since the invention of the smart phone my memory (for my life schedule) has become a lot worse. Sometimes I miss the days of the hanging calendar in my parents house colour-coded for my sister and my schedule for the many sports and activities we were involved in. Somehow it seems like I was able to keep better track of my life. But I slug on and continue to use the calendar in my phone, setting reminders for myself so that I hopefully don't miss a beat. What I don't seem to do is check the calendar for upcoming events, I rely on these reminders (if I somehow miss it or have forgotten to set the reminder, then I might forget altogether). My new phone often puts that day's event onto my home screen, which is nice and does make me open my calendar more often.

Maybe the above was pointless, or maybe it has lead you to the point I want to make about Remind 101 (with respect to high school classes). It is my strong belief that we have to graduate students who can fend for themselves in the world - and if I have come to struggle with the above, imagine those who never learn to find their own way to remind themselves?

I think there are some great reasons for Remind 101 to exist and it definitely has its place. It is just my opinion that using something like this gives my students an excuse to miss something if I forget to remind them - but it is there job in the first place to remember homework, tests dates, etc so I want my students to come up with a system that works for them. I encourage them to use their device's built in calendar, find an app they like, or purchase a paper agenda if they prefer. I also post important dates on my LMS if they need to access a calendar or are away from school.

I am sure there are many amazing teacher that use the Remind 101 service successfully and for great reason, and this post is by no means an attempt to spark a debate. Just some thoughts that have come up a few times that I felt the need to write down. In the end, the purpose of a teacher in the classroom is to have an educational philosophy and to use that to decide on purposeful things to try to teach students to make them successful, contributing members of society.

And so, we try.