CHICAGO (CBS) — A smartphone app has been touted as a great communications tool for teachers, and could get a lot more use now that schools are getting back in session.

It’s called “Remind”, and it’s a tool that helps teachers communicate more with students and their parents – all without divulging personal cellphone information.

Lake View High School chemistry teacher Kevin Cram said he has used Remind for the past couple of school years, although last year he used it much more than the year before.

Cram said he regularly sends students reminders about homework assignments, or about upcoming quizzes and tests.

“It sends a message right to their phone; whatever you want them to know – homework due tomorrow, or quiz on chapter two,” he said.

Students also can use the app to ask their teacher a question.

The app has been around for a couple of years, and Cram said he’s been able to get more of his colleagues to use it, too. Promoters have said more than 25 million people are using Remind.

Cram said he believes homework turn-in response has increased dramatically from when he did not use the app. He estimated he’s seen homework turn-in go from 30 percent to 80 percent through regular use of Remind.

“All of my students, when I ask them if they have a phone, they say yes, even if it’s one of the earlier flip phones. So they’re getting the messages. Now they have no excuses,” he said.

He also said the app shows students he’s really invested in their educations, and they in turn invest more in their own educations.

Cram also has been encouraging parents to use the app, especially at parent-teacher conferences. He said several parents have downloaded the app right then and there.