Teaching by texting

Teaching by texting is taking hold in classrooms, reports AOL News.

“You’ve got a classroom full of students walking in with a computer in their pocket. Why would you not use it?” said Ron Smith, who has defied district policy for the past five years to allow cell phone use in his high school art and design classes in Hollywood, Calif.

At Chester Middle School, an hour north of New York City, Principal Ernie Jackson, 52, challenged his staff to teach poetry using text messaging. He then gave an old version of a state test to those students who texted in summaries of the poems and to those who learned the poems in a traditional manner.

The result: Those who texted averaged 80 percent on the exam, versus 40 percent for those who didn't.

In another example, a Spanish teacher has students work in pairs to text in answers in Spanish to questions, such as, “What’s your favorite board game?” She projects the anonymous replies; the class checks them for grammar and spelling.

It doesn’t seem like a big step forward, but maybe I’m just an old fogey.

Via Textually.org.

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  1. Because of state-mandated testing and the English Department doing a research paper, I was blocked out of the computer labs (and library) during the entire month of April? How did I do my geography project? Easy — let the kids access the internet through their cellphones, with the tacit approval of the curriculum principal (who called it an interesting solution to the computer lab problem).