Cel.ly is a new mass text messaging
service that says they are interested in schools using their free service! You can get started by texting "start" to 23559. Cel.ly will then ask you for a login and password. You can then go to the website Cel.ly, login and set up text message channels. Each channel is set up with a keyword so that students, teachers, community members, and parents can join your mass text message with a keyword from their cell phone! There does not seem to be a limit on the number of people that can join your mass alert. Cel.ly also gives you three choices in how you want to set up the mass text alerts. You can have all members send messages back and forth to the whole group. You can have only the teacher (owner of the channel) send messages to the group. You can have the group members send messages back to the teacher only! In addition your texting channel can be public or private! All messages are archived in Cel.ly! You can send messages via the Cel.ly website or via phone. It works quickly and easily!
Pulse.to is similar to Cel.ly. You can login to the website, create a free account and then you start to set up pulses. You can have a public or private mass texting channel (called "pulses"). In addition, you can select if only the pulse owner can send messages or if everyone in the group can send messages. Pulse.to works in many different countries besides the US and Canada! In addition there is not a short code to join, rather students/teachers/parents can text in to a real phone number (so phones that don't work with short codes or keywords will still work with this service!). For example to join my Pulse you text JOIN KOLBY to 704-323-7775.