It’s hard to believe that 2021 is coming to a close, whether the end of the year snuck up on you or couldn’t come fast enough. (For us, it’s a little bit of both.) And while you might have gotten used to dealing with constant changes and ongoing uncertainty, we wanted to recognize that 2021 has been incredibly challenging in its own right—from returning to school to prioritizing mental health to handling everything else that’s come with the past two years.
But when we look back at this year on Remind, what stands out is how you and nearly 30 million other educators, students, and family members kept finding ways to support one another: Communicating despite all kinds of barriers. Creating personal connections to help families feel engaged. Getting students the help they needed to not only catch up, but thrive.
It takes a lot to be this resilient, and you and your communities are the reason why Remind keeps evolving, too—to make sure we can keep helping you do what you need to, no matter what might lie ahead.
Here’s what that looked like in 2021.
Communication outside the classroom isn’t just for distance learning. Even though schools and districts reopened this year, educators kept the conversation going—and each of these messages helped keep students and family members informed and engaged.
To make it easier for you to reach others where they are, especially in multilingual and under-resourced communities, we also introduced preferred language translation this year for everyone on Remind. In the biggest improvement to our translation feature since 2016, every message you send is now automatically translated into your recipients’ home languages, even if they don’t download the app or can only receive texts.
This year, we saw schools and districts prioritizing communication for everyone in their organizations—including enabling text notifications for students and families, supporting two-way communication for teachers and staff, and equipping administrators with more tools for engagement.
In 2021, we also kicked off our project of making Remind as effective and easy to use for administrators as it is for teachers. To start, we took a core feature that’s been a favorite for years: the ability to add voice clips to mobile messages.
Now, our new personalized voice messages let administrators record extended voice clips for more empathetic school and district communication. A personal touch can go a long way in reassuring students and families, especially in times of high sensitivity, and urgent announcements to landline phones will now play your voice clip instead of a robocall.
When we first launched Remind Tutoring in 2020, our goal was to make online math help available for any student who needed support outside the classroom.
Then, 2020 happened.
Even though schools have reopened and students are back on campus, the disruptions that they experienced last year continue to affect their learning. But while a return to normalcy might not be possible just yet, we’re seeing more families look for ways to get students additional help—whether that’s extra review, hands-on problem-solving, or even just more time to work through concepts.
Tutoring is one of the best evidence-based approaches to addressing learning loss, but what we hear most from students is how much it helps to work with a tutor who can take the time to understand their specific needs. And next year, we’re excited to begin partnering with districts to offer Remind Tutoring for grades 2-12.
If you’re a parent or student interested in online math tutoring, you can sign up here. Or, if you’re an administrator interested in bringing Remind Tutoring to your organization, join our waitlist to learn more.
It’s been a long year—one that continued to introduce new challenges to teaching and learning. But despite the circumstances, we see the way you’ve responded by reaching out more, not less; by looking for ways to communicate more personally and empathetically; and by seeking to understand what students need right now.
We’re grateful that you’ve made Remind part of what you do, and we promise to keep building to meet you where you are.
Take care of yourselves and your communities—we’ll see you next year with some exciting new updates!