6 Great SMS Messaging Tools to Use in The Education Sector
One would think that education and SMS messaging have no business with each other. In fact, many educational institutes outright ban cellphone use during class. Board members well as professors fear that texting may lead to distraction or worse. But they fail to see the other potential uses that text messages can have for the entire sector.
The truth of it is that SMS messaging is here to stay. Texting is the ideal channel to communicate, not just for millennials, but Gen Z as well. Texting can also help empower instructors and students in ways they didn’t realize before.Here are a few examples:
Students have hectic school schedules, while parents have daytime jobs to worry about. Meeting with the teacher is important, but usually the last thing anybody wants to do. Even when a time finally works for everyone, someone always forgets last minute. A simple SMS reminder is all that’s needed. Set up a time and date, and the instructor or counselor can reach out to the parent or student with ease.No need to worry about sharing private numbers either, the communication can all be handled through an app.
Homework or exam remindersStudents always have an excuse for turning in homework late, or for missing exam day. Whether it’s blaming the dog or oversleeping, teachers know the real reason: procrastination. Most students are bad planners.It’s not that they’re incapable of finishing work — they need only the proper guidance. Text reminders are hard to miss.
They can help students with heavy workloads to remember due dates. And a message one day before and one hour before the exam or homework can make a world of difference.
Emergency alertsSometimes classes may be canceled due to poor weather or a severe emergency. Instead of sending out an email, which can be slow and ineffective, SMS messaging can inform students fast. For exceptional cases, sending SMS alerts to every student can also prevent further disaster.
Advertising upcoming school eventsSchool dance coming up? Or a big game against a rival football team? SMS messaging is the fastest way to disperse that news. Because of its informal nature, it will create a bigger buzz without coming off as marketing. Whether it’s for a sports event, competition, or fundraiser, a text message is sure to grab people’s attention.
Counseling/help hotline.Students are under an immense amount of pressure. From their parents, their professors, and even their own classmates. They may also be subject to bullying, mental health issues, or something else entirely.
That can be a major detriment to their education as well as their well-being. Setting up a single number that’s easy to remember can offer anyone support. It also allows students to be heard. All they need to do is text their problem and they can get immediate help, even anonymously if they request.
Team communicationTeams exist all around the school. From teachers collaborating on a curriculum to students working on a project. Even sports teams need teamwork to win big games.That’s why SMS messaging makes it so much easier to communicate. It can be used for quick updates (“the meeting has been moved to Hall B”) to scheduling meetings. For updates that are too brief for a call, but too important to wait, SMS is still the way to go.
SurveysTeachers also need feedback to learn whether they are meeting their teaching objectives. They can ask how effectively they are teaching the subject matter, or even find out which topics students are curious to learn. With SMS, surveys become easy to answer. In fact, students will likely enjoy replying to an SMS than filling out a sheet.
Top SMS marketing software for the education sector:
TextMagic has been around for almost two decades at this point. It’s proven its reputation as the
SMS king. Not only can you send bulk SMS messages with one click, but you can also send SMS online, use analytics tools, and more. TextMagic has already assisted many companies in the education sector. This is where you should start.
Safe and simple – those are the words ClassParrot lives by. Used by over 1600 teachers, ClassParrot has gained a name for itself despite still being in beta. Teachers can use the app to remind of exams and homework, and even let parents opt-in for messages too.
ClassPager focuses on universal functionality. You can create polls, exit tickets, and reminders, then send them to iOS or Android. The only downside is that for $19 per month, you’re limited to 100 announcements or polls. If you want to try, there is a free version available with up to 25
students and 10 announcements per month.
Dedicated to school reminders, Remind makes communication simple wherever you are. Their service offers two-way messaging explicitly for the education sector. Google Classroom, Quizlet, Canvas, and OneDrive have all been partners in the past. The free account is limited to 150 participants per class (10 classes max). The Remind plan supports 5000 participants per class (100 classes max).
Don’t let the old school website scare you. SMSMatrix has helped thousands of people not just in education but in healthcare as well. Besides SMS messaging, they offer voice broadcasting, text to speech, and even fax/email broadcasting.
SMSMatrix has four plans: Free, Bronze, Silver, and Gold, with the highest tier costing $100 per month. Instead of a limit on messages, they offer message credits (1 credit = 1 message). Monthly credits vary depending on the tier.
If you want something automated and works out of the box, SendHub is your app. Though their focus is on business SMS, the technology also works for the education sector.
SendHub even allows businesses to build their own SMS platform. This can be integrated with CRM and other software. SendHub’s biggest client is Lyft, which allows drivers to send passengers updates.
Final ThoughtsThe education sector is rife with daily problems. But with SMS, these problems evaporate. SMS is quick, far-reaching, and most importantly, personal. That makes it a natural fit for schools and universities. Once implemented, teachers can look forward to more punctual students and better-attended events. It starts with choosing the right app for your institute.