Cell phones have made texting a way of life for most people, yet there is much discussion about cell phone use in schools. Are there other means to use texting as an educational resource?
I just read about a site called Watch2gether where you can watch YouTube videos and host text chats about them at the same time. You enter a nickname for yourself, then search for a video, and use the chat column on the right side of your browser to discuss the video with others you invite by sending them the url assigned to your chat. Together you can watch a video and discuss it.
I realize You Tube is blocked in some schools, but I wonder if anyone has found other sites that provide opportunities for students to chat about projects, etc.
What do you think of this use of texting in the classroom?
Our district is in the process of evaluating Microsoft LIVE@EDU and Google Apps for Education for use in the classroom with students. We have four science classes of 8th graders right now, using LIVE and they have also used EDU20.org to log on to a collaborative document and a chat within the two systems. The group members are chatting to consensus about the hypothesis and the steps to prove it and them copying and pasting the text from the chat into the document to create their Phase Change Steps before going to their lab stations and performing the steps to prove their hypothesis. The teacher can see the record of the chat and the document and can also chat and edit the document with the students. We are looking for the system that best meets the students learning needs and plan to open up that one for use for educational purposes only. I've been observing and assisting in the class during this time and we'll be gathering student input through a survey to help in deciding the system for the entire school district!
I have also used Poll Everywhere which is great. I was thinking about the simplest tasks that students could do their own polling. Have each student text someone that lives in another state and ask for their weather report or any basic question. It could be an opinion poll on a topic they are currently studying or gathering data on current events. Share your ideas!
A friend of mine teaches Technology Literacy at the high school level in Kentucky and if you want some good insight from a person who has tried to utilize cell phones as an opportunity instead of seeing them as a distraction....I suggest checking out his article on edweek.org. The article specifically delves into using facebook and twitter, as well as PollEverywhere.
I read a good article on how to use texting in the classroom. Check out "The 60-Second Guide To Texting In The Classroom" published by edudemic. The article states that "according to TIME magazine, '77 percent of teenagers (12-17) have [cell phones], and 75 percent of all teens text.'”
What do you think of trying some of these ideas for texting in your classroom?
Here is a URL for a slide show called: 10 Good Reasons to Teach with a Cell Phone.