Google Voice: Connecting to the mobile student (Part 3)
Think teens love to send text messages?
The Pew Research Center in 2010 published results of a survey showing that 75 percent of teenagers own their own phones, and 87 percent of them use text messaging.
Half of texting teenagers send 50 or more texts a day, according to the survey. One third send 100 or more texts a day. The simple math tells us that’s 3,000 texts on an average month.
Can we harness that power for education?
Yes, but we have to be careful.
Communication is key, and it’s the first step. After weighing the possible consequences, be ready to have an honest conversation with administration. With the OK from leadership, parents need information on the situation and may need an alternative to educational texts if they’re uncomfortable. The ramifications of educational texting is a full topic of discussion for another day, but principals, students, parents and maybe even school boards need to be involved.
With that hurdle cleared, here are several ways Google Voice’s texting capabilities can help in the class:
1. Reminders: Remind students about assignments, projects, quizzes and tests. Parents may want to get these reminders, too.
2. Promos: Marketing professionals create hype for products by divulging details beforehand. Why not use that as a tool to get students interested and excited?
3. Review: Sending texts with questions or review information can give extra repetition with the material. In many cases, repetitions can equal increased achievement.
4. Primer: Get an in-class discussion started early. Give students a topic and something to think about before the arrive.
5. Extra learning opportunities: Offer the occasional extra credit question. Direct students to an interesting website relevant to class content. Some students won’t bite, but others are truly interested in going the extra mile.