When Technology and Social Work assemble in Higher Education – Using Remind 101 by Dr. Nathalie P. Jones
Nathalie P. Jones, PhD, MSW is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Tarleton State University. In this blog post, Dr. Jones writes about her experiences using a free texting services for educators, Remind 101, with her BSW students.
As a college professor, I have been on a quest to implement technology within social work courses. Particularly, I have become very fluent with the use of Remind 101. This platform provides the option to text learners who are currently enrolled in my online Working with Aging Populations course which equips learners to provide services and advocate for individuals who are in the later life phase. Most of these learners are classified as non-traditional who are usually working during the day and completing homework assignments during the evenings. In the online setting, when I post announcements in the course room, I use Remind 101 to provide a follow up text message to prompt the learners’ attention. The benefits of Remind 101 include providing opportunities for me to send out last minute reminders, assignment extensions and class cancellations. During my current course, I have not experienced any challenges.here
I have also used Remind 101 in my other face to face courses. I was able to contact individuals within the course when they were in research groups. One of the best features I enjoy about Remind 101 is its immediate alert system. When upgrades are made to this product there is an alert sent out to all users of this product. For instance, during the fall semester of 2013, there wasn’t an option to send a text to one student. Then, during the spring semester of 2014 that option was implemented and I was able to begin using immediately with my students.
In terms of feedback from learners, most of my students are nontraditional and uninterested in receiving and checking text messages. Therefore, they were not happy that I had another method to contact them. However, when they received their first text message that postponed an exam, students were in favor of Remind 101 to say the least. Some stated they appreciated a resource that could keep them knowledgeable about important topics relating to the course.
Finally, Remind 101 is a great resource for instructors because it provides students with disabilities immediate information pertaining to courses. For instance, I have had several students who cannot make it to the course room and struggled with the computer. However, receiving text messages while in voice mode was reported as helpful. It informed students of any changes that may have occurred since the last class meeting and it provided a 21st century style of engagement from the instructor.