Remind, a messaging app designed to close the communication gap in K-12 education, this week launched “Chat:” secure two-way messaging between teachers, students, and parents with new features not found in messaging apps like WhatsApp. The company’s expansion into two-way messaging directly results from feedback from Remind’s 23 million registered users, including 1.5 million teachers worldwide.
“Teachers are reluctant to allow messaging apps into their classrooms,” said Brett Kopf, co-founder and CEO of Remind. “You can’t use many of these apps without giving out your phone number. We’ve designed a product to give teachers and parents confidence that Remind has been designed with safety and privacy at its core.”
“Remind has been designed with safety and privacy at its core”
Remind says it is also deeply aware that not every family has smartphones. Parents and students can receive messages via the technology that is best for them: SMS, email, or push notifications via the app.
For teachers, Chat is designed to be simple and easy to use: There is no need to toggle between the main app and a separate messaging app. It’s an all-in-one solution.
Remind was founded on the knowledge that education technology is useless unless teachers embrace it. So Chat puts teachers in the driver’s seat with control features that don’t exist in WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger:
- Teachers can initiate two-way conversations with students and parents.
- Teachers can choose to flip a conversation back into Remind’s original one-way functionality. This enables teachers to continue sending quick announcements that don’t require replies.
- Teachers can set their own “Office Hours,” which allow them to communicate their availability (for example,“The best time to reach me is between 4 and 6 p.m.”).
- Teachers can easily pause and resume Chats.
For all users of the messaging app — teachers, students, and parents — there are new features strategically designed to keep Remind an authentic and respectful environment:
- Teachers, students, and parents can flag users who are inappropriate or harassing others. Users can also report fraudulent people.
Chat and Announcement messages cannot be edited or deleted. Teachers, students, and parents all have access to their Chat or Announcement transcripts for future reference.
“Teachers … want a way to have conversations with students and parents [safely]”
“We heard loud and clear from teachers who use Remind that they want a way to have conversations with students and parents, but not at the expense of control and safety,” said Josh Wiseman, Remind VP of Product. “This posed a unique design challenge, and we think our engineering team succeeded in creating a great two-way messaging app that teachers, students, and parents will love.”
For those who would like to start using Chat now, visit www.remind.com/chat and request access. Teachers, students, and parents need to enter their “class code” to gain early access to Chat’s features. Chat will be widely available starting in April.