The mere idea of students actually being allowed to use a mobile phone in the classroom might sound a bit out of the norm. And while texting inside the classroom could be considered even a stranger idea, the benefits of meeting students where they are can be priceless, sparking some fascinating engagement.
Add some excitement to the dreaded pop quiz.
Quizzes are sometimes the bane of students’ existence. They dread them, especially when they’re unexpected. Imagine how engaged students would be if, when you mentioned a pop quiz, you told them they’d be submitting answers from their phones. By shifting the focus from the actual quiz to a new way to submit answers, students will feel refreshed and might gain more excitement to participate.
Give quiet students a voice in discussions.
Every classroom has at least one student (sometimes more) who never really participates in classroom discussions. Perhaps they are shy or just prefer not to speak out amongst a large group. Using text messages can encourage engagement and help those quiet students find their voice in the classroom.
Illustrate the difference between formal and informal communication.
Communication is vital in our society, and while traditionally conversations about communication were limited to verbal, non-verbal and written, there are now different forms of written communication. Each form has its own dos and don’ts. Allowing texting in the classroom can help students better decipher between appropriate forms of conversation, knowing when to be formal and when to be informal. Practice is the best path to perfection. Consider using text messages to compare syntax, grammar and even tone to help students become better communicators.
While mobile phones and texting are normally considered to be a distraction, with the right technique you can use texting to transform your classroom. Show students you are willing to be a part of the world they live in everyday and watch how they gravitate more quickly to learning in a brand new way.