I have posted in the past about messaging services such as Remindr, Dial2do, Jott, Remember the Milk, and Sendible. All of which I think are useful. But I have to add another messaging service to this list. It is called Notifu. Notifu allows for group messaging, polling, and FEEDBACK! That is correct, I said, feedback. Notifu allows you to send a message to a person's perferred form of communication such as IM, Twitter, email, or Text Message. Once you create a contact with the contact's preferred communication, you can easily send group messages to multiple contacts and receive feedback from them (no matter which communication tool they are using). For example, I sent out a poll to all my contacts in a particular group asking them what time they preferred to meet. I gave them choices of 4:30, 5:00, & 6:00. When they got their message, they could reply with n4 (for 4:30), n5 (for 5:00) or (n6 for 6:00). Along with their reply they could also send back a message to me such as "n4 cannot attend any other time". All of this feedback is directed into my Notifu account, where the polling and feedback are quantified into legible data.
Scheduling and Group Management
I immediately thought this tool could be helpful with administrators and teachers who are trying to schedule and communicate with committees, student and parent groups. In addition, students who form their own study groups can take advantage of Notifu for messaging between the group members.
Polling and Feedback
While I love Polleverywere and Textthemob for in-class polling via cell phones, I think Notifu is a great way to conduct polls and get feedback outside of the classroom.
The teacher can send out an inquiry question or getting-started question that will be used in class the following day. Students can text back their answer, which automatically appears in the teacher's account. The teacher can then project the answers on the LCD screen the next class session and discuss the answers.
The teacher can send some quiz or review questions to the students by using the polling feature and get the answers back in their private Notifu account (in a timely manner).
The teacher can send out homework questions or ask for questions on their homework assignments. Students can text back their answers. For example an English teacher can ask his/her students to "summarize" in 160 characters or less, the plot for their Shakespeare reading that night. By asking for short summaries, it forces students to be mindful of their descriptions in their answers (not easy to do with Shakespeare!).
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