Recently I discovered an interesting add-on for Line users (see Steve’s post on Line) that most of my students were unfamiliar with, called Band. The Band app is nestled within the Line program as a quick add-on, so there is minimal action required for students to use it. Anyone can create a Band and invite others to join it. Within the App are extra tools not found in Line Groups, which can help any social or scholastic group to stay organized and maintain communication during projects. Line Band offers a social networking type mobile environment which is both iOS and Android optimized.
For anyone working in an environment without an institutionally managed LMS, or for someone who finds their institutions LMS to be user unfriendly, Band offers an alternative. Band allows for the posting of messages in a bulletin board with stickies, the creation of user polls, and the submission of external links. It has separate channels for chats, pictures and calendars—all with push notifications. The entire Band can be edited by all members and is therefore truly collaborative in its design. Line has even recently created a PC accessible web version of the Band app which is currently in beta testing. The fact that they have back engineered the PC version tells us something of the age. Since my students were all already using Line, initiating the use of Line Band was simple.
While Band, is not designed to be used as an LMS, it is possible to get students to work on their own using it for peer-to-peer communication. And if you want instant contact with a student or all of your students in an emergency, nothing is faster than a mobile app with push notifications.