They'll ignore it (sometimes) if a teacher made it
Believe it or not, I think I found a way to make students ignore yet another stream of communication coming from adults and teachers. We thought they read our emails. They don't. (Or at least not thoroughly.) We thought they read the e-newsletter. Nope. We thought they read the announcements or the daily bulletin. They power-browse those. Maybe.
We thought that sending texts to their smartphones, even in a safe, easy way like Remind, would keep them informed of upcoming events, club meetings, assignments, and schedule changes. Turns out students (after my 1,000th message over three years) may be swiping those away, too. Remind alerts so conveniently pop up on their phones as SMS messages or notifications, but I'm still competing to get students' attention. I know this because Remind lets you see which subscribers actually open an attachment (document, image) you send along with the text. And they are not looking...in large numbers. I thought I knew what students valued in a Remind alert, but I'm still learning.
Sometimes I send messages to 130+ subscribers and only see (next to the little eyeball icon) 10-20 viewers.
They'll open it if they (or their classmate) made it
So there's hope. Lately, I've been encouraging students to send me animated gifs, memes, and other-student generated content that I can attach to Remind messages. As cute narcissists, students will create when they know they'll have a peer audience. As a result, the touch-through rates are on the rise. In other words, the number next to the eyeball icon is increasing. Here's a meme I sent that serves as a NoRedInk homework reminder. It leverages a classroom inside joke related to the infamous video of Allen Iverson discussing "practice." (46 of 92 recipients viewed the image.)
Some Internet memes have staying power. The "honey badger" trope helped the Remind alert below garner 57 views. The double sideways carrot ( >> ) helps, too. Giving credit to the meme-maker within the message itself also seems to create mini-celebrities in class and competition for future Remind real estate.
Sometimes still images aren't enough. After I posted a few student-created memes, the gifs started rolling in. This feverish typer related to many a late-night Membean forgetters in class.
They'll open it if it mentions "extra credit" or contains cats.
They'll open it if their work is being publicly praised
This Remind alert went to 52 recipients. 16 clicked through to view the attached image, an AP-style essay written by a student that earned a 9 on the College Board scale.
They'll open it if it (ambiguously) promises a worthy punchline...
They'll open it if money is involved
They'll open it if they are instructed to use a "stamp" to answer a question
Have you used student-generated content to engage other students through Remind or other communication tools?