Purposeful Web 2.0 -Texting

A grandfather and grandmother recently had their teenage grandson with them for the weekend.  The grandfather asked the grandson to help him straighten out the garage.  Two people were needed  to lift and move the heavy objects.  Just after they started, the grandson stopped, pulled out his cell phone, read a text, and then responded.  About five minutes later, he did the same.  About three minutes more, he repeated this pattern of pausing whatever he was doing to answer the text.  His grandfather mentioned that they could get the work done faster if the grandson did not stop so frequently to check his phone and text back.  The grandson did not see any problem.

We can use this story to help us think about Web 2.0 in the classroom. Texting can be valuable as long as it is focused on the academic  task.  If a student is texting about non-academic  things, then the texting is not productive.   Being connected does not always translate into being on task or even  into learning.  In addition, the text needs to move the learning  topic forward or at least  to clarify the learning.  Students need to  be able to express their deep ideas in short phrases that others can understand.

So how do your students use texting in class or for school work?

My  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment

My book,  Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Reponding to Your Students


1 Response to “Purposeful Web 2.0 -Texting”

  1. 1 Mort July 31, 2010 at 4:22 pm


    I realize I was alive during the dinosaur age, but I am still reluctant to use texting in the classroom. I am not suggesting the banishment of technology from my classrooms, but I see the value of texting as engaging the student in “their world.” Hence, the idea is to promote shared learning and increased engagement in the class. However, isn’t that what open discussion and inquiry stance are supposed to do? That said, it seems to me like these methods have more quality control built in because we can actually hear the discourse. This is useful: a) to make sure we are all “on the same page” regarding the discussion (in other words the fact is in texting people could be using the text for non-academic reasons), and b.) in case there are inconsistencies that need corrected the open discussion format allows for immediate and universal engagement.
    To that end, I clearly the value of engaging all forms of technology today, but the jury is still on in my mind on texting.

    Thanks for listening

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