Text Messaging Students: Is it Worth It?May 20, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Posted in uncategorized | 10 Comments
Post written by Mike Burke
Like most teachers at the secondary level, one of the major issues I face on a daily basis is how to communicate with my students when they are not in the classroom. There are times when I need to get a message to my students quickly, such as when I decide to change a homework assignment after I assign it. I have a classroom webpage, but my students rarely check it. The site is more for parents, and they do not use it very much either. I needed a way to communicate with my students the way they communicate. Of course anyone who has spent more than 5 minutes with a teenager knows that their link to the world is their cellular phone. Students today are completely hooked to their phones, using it to communicate, as a portable music device, as a phone, and more. Some studies even suggest that a students popularity and status can be linked to their cell phone (Faure & Orthober, 2011). This year, I came across a website that taught me how to send a text message to a mobile phone using my email. To do so, you only need the 10 digit phone number and the service provider of the device. With this information, I began texting my Geometry students through my email. Because I only sent mass messages (as opposed to texting individual students), and because the messages were sent from my school email, and not from my person phone, I have the full support of my principal. The students love it. It has given me the power to let them know about changes in assignments, and remind them about upcoming assessments. I have found that students often text me as well, asking questions and making comments about class. Text messaging in education has been a hot topic in research recently. A 2011 study found that “students emphasized that the text messages helped direct their studies ore efficiently, and as such, contributed to their overall learning experience,” (Richardson, Littrell, Challman, & Stein, 2011). What do you think? Do you think teachers should be texting with their students, if done in a professional manner, or do you think the students should be responsible enough to check their email or classroom webpage?
Faure, C. & Orthober, C. (2011). Using text-messaging in the secondary classroom. American Secondary Education, 39(2), 55-76.
Richardson, A., Littrell, O., Challman, S., & Stein, P. (2011). Using text messaging in an undergraduate nursing course. Journal of Nursing Education, 50(2), 99-104.