Cell phones. We see them every day. Some people use them as a traditional phone, some use them as a mini computer, and others never speak a word while using theirs to send messages to others. One form of communicating, called texting, has become a primary method of relaying information. It takes seconds to type a quick reminder or note that one, or many, can receive and then read at their convenience. While some may say that texting has become a nuisance and a distraction in the classroom, one might also ask, “How could texting benefit students?”
Two examples were brought up in an article by Peter Dewitt In the first, a set of researchers from Harvard developed a program that utilized texting as reminders for students applying to college. They then conducted a study to explore if students who received these texts – which included deadlines, links to forms, and live counselors – stuck to their college planning better. Results showed that their program raised the likelihood that a student would enroll in college.
Another example showed that texting reminders are not just beneficial for adolescents, but for the whole family. One program was designed to text literacy activities to parents of young children who were learning to read. This resulted in parents spending more time with their children, who were then more likely to know their alphabet and sounds of letters.
These two examples help to show that communication and organization can go a long way in motivating students of all ages. Some may choose to use paper and pencil techniques such as keeping a planner or a To-Do list, while others might text themselves or utilize voice-recorded memos on their phone. Still for others, receiving texts with information and reminders from another person can be a helpful tool to pursue academic success. Let’s encourage students to find the method that works for them, and provide them with the message that “You can do this!”
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