Teachers texting students through a safe app

Published: Sep. 6, 2014 at 1:30 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 4, 2014 at 12:40 AM CDT
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WETUMPKA, AL (WSFA) - Teachers texting students? Normally it's looked down upon, but it's happening in Elmore County and school leaders are perfectly fine with it.

That's because the messages are sent through a secure app, protecting both students and teachers.

"We've got to embrace technology, and if we don't do it, we're not going to be able to effectively communicate with our students," Michelle Stough said.

Stough is a science teacher at Wetumpka High School, but her teaching expands much farther than the classroom. Like many teachers, Stough is using technology through a simple app to communicate with her students. It's called Remind.

Teachers are able to send out texts to students reminding them of homework assignments, upcoming tests, tutoring hours and other important information.

"I really like the app. It goes out about 6:00 in the evening when everyone is home from practice and everyone is home from work and getting started with their evening activities and then they get the text about homework. Given all the boundary situations, it is good safe way to do things," said Lisa Crownover, a teacher at Wetumpka High School who also uses the app.

After so many alleged inappropriate relationships, the app serves as a safe haven and eliminates any excuse for a teacher or student to personally contact each other. It conceals phone numbers and those receiving the texts can't even respond.

E.J. Aloria is a Junior who uses the app.

"Those students that will try to create problems are blocked. All the teachers will not have to worry about having any privacy issues and always be protected," Aloria said.

While it may just be some texts, it's actually improving grades.

Cameron Compton knows firsthand the benefits of Remind.

"My grades went up higher. I started doing my homework more because I wouldn't forget," Compton said.

Madison Easterling agrees, "I always forgot because I'm really forgetful. Whenever the teachers send Remind it lets you know that night that you should do it."

"I send out a text, 'don't forget about tutoring today,' and my room is packed," Stough said. "Those kids that come to tutoring have substantially higher grades."

Parents are also able to sign up for Remind allowing one more way to keep up with their children's school work.

Although it's sent through the phone, every single message is saved and kept on record by the teacher. That way messages can't be misquoted or taken out of context.

According to a Bloomberg report, Remind is quickly becoming one of the top downloaded education apps in the country.

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