Looking for new ways to stay in touch with parents and students this year using voicemail and text messaging? I certainly am as I teach several courses for adults and 5th graders at my church on Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings this year, and as I lead our youth deacons in our “Stories of Faith” podcasting project. Two free website services I’ve discovered recently and am planning to use this semester are:

TextMarks: Create text-alert groups using cell phone numbers, permit others to subscribe to alerts, facilitate one-to-many and many-to-many text discussions. I’m using this with our youth deacons group, along with a private Facebook group.

Phonevite: Create voicemail reminders for groups, schedule delayed voicemail updates if desired, record Phonevite messages from your mobile phone anywhere, anytime. I’m planning to use this with our 5th grade parents to send out updates and stay in touch.

Both of these tools provide great opportunities to send out reminders and updates. And they are both free!

Thanks to Michael Richards for sharing Phonevite on Bit by Bit Show 34 from 28 August 2008, and Jym Brittain for sharing Textmarks in a comment to a blog post here last month.

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