I am always on the look out for creative resources for student collaboration. My latest discovery? Band.
Because I need to communicate with a multitude of student leaders outside of the classroom environment, I want a safe and easy-to-use platform that allows for us all to stay in the loop with what’s going on.
Why do I like Band? We started the year using GroupMe, which has some nice features for group communication. But, to be honest, the endless stream was hard to stay up with it. I hate scrolling through a thousand messages trying to figure out what I missed. It does have nice features like the ability to like a comment (or heart it) and also tag individuals so it will notify them. GroupMe also offers an event feature that allows students to say if they are going to an upcoming event and remind them as it comes up. All of these are great features!
And, with the exception of the “heart” feature, Band has all that and more! Even better? Band isn’t seen as simply a group messaging tool, so it isn’t blocked at school.
Band begins with setting up a group and creating a group icon to identify it. From there, you can easily send out a join code to anyone you want in the group. As we get organized for next year’s plans, our junior officers (soon to be my new senior officers) have jumped on board. Within moments, newly elected officers and this year’s current group are all connected.
Some great features:
- News Feed
- The news feed is similar to that of popular social media platforms. This allows a new strand of information to be shared and group members can directly comment on that. (It even includes a fun feature called shouts.)
- Band offers a chat feature for the entire group or smaller groups of specified individuals. The chat quickly categorizes the messages and lets you know which members have read through them. I love it that I’m directed to messages I haven’t read instantly instead of scrolling endlessly.
- You can set up calendar events complete with an RSVP option. It can be shared as a separate post and include a reminder. Even better? You can export to your own calendar of choice (Google or Apple versions).
- Easily set up photo albums for different events instead of just adding individual pictures. Any member of the group can access or add to the albums.
- Instantly see all members and any contact information they shared. This allows pictures for the profiles too. I love being connected but without students having my cell phone info. This offers a great option to keep your info as private as you want/need. Permissions can be designated for admin and co-admin so you can restrict who can do what within the Band.
- File Cabinet
- Have important documents you want the group to have access to? A virtual filing cabinet allows you to store files and quickly search to find the ones you need.
- To Do List
- This might be my favorite! Instead of listing the different things the group needs to accomplish, Band gives a check off list that you can specify permissions to allow others to add to or check off (or keep it just you).
Additional features include a bill split that allows you to specify the number of people that split the cost of something and the ability to schedule posts (also an invaluable tool for a busy teacher).
Browser and App versions available
When it comes to students staying connected, a helpful app is a great tool for a mobile device. As an educator, I appreciate the ability to stay connected within an open browser window on my computer or the downloadable app on my desktop. Both platforms allow for easy access and connectivity.
If you are looking for a great way to connect with your group, check out Band to make communication and organization better for everyone.