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Too Many Texts?

| 6 Comments

This article about texting from The New York Times points to some of the frustrations of allowing cell phones in the classroom. According to the article, teenagers are spending more and more time texting each other, including during class, with their cell phones hidden underneath their desks or jackets. It's to the point where teachers find it more productive to ignore the behavior than stop class to reprimand those who engage in covert in-class texting.

And it's not just in the classroom that texting is causing problems. Many teens are now sending hundreds of text messages a day, which works out to one text message every couple of minutes, sometimes even during the night. That amount of texting can cut into a good night's sleep and can even cause pain in the texter's thumbs, say doctors.

It's hard for me to imagine students getting any homework done if they're constantly being interrupted by a buzzing, chirping phone every few minutes, and some parents are now setting limits on the amount of time kids spend texting as well as the hours when they're allowed to text with their friends. According to the article, texting isn't as closely monitored by parents as video-game playing or time spent surfing the Internet, but that may start to change if texting begins to impact students' performance in school.

If you are a teacher, how does this article compare with your experience? How do you deal with the texters in your classroom? And if you are a parent, do you set limits on your child's text messaging, or is it something that they're able to control themselves?

6 Comments

I find the thumb thing hard to believe. I am a high school teacher and I'm extremely frustrated by the amount of texting that takes place in our school. We have basically dropped the idea of taking cell phones from students in the halls or at lunch. In my classroom, if I take it once, they get it back at the end of the day. The next time it goes to the office. Come to find out though, the students can go to the office at the end of the day and get it right back. What other ways can you fight this? It is frustrating when you're trying to teach your class!

I agree that too much texting is a problem for classroom management... BUT, the flipside for educators is that they might be able to leverage all of this texting to enhance the classroom/learning experience for their students. I'd recommend for teachers to check out tools like Edmodo. I've started to think about these issues here (http://21stcenturyscholar.org/2009/05/05/whats-a-twitter-about-twitter/) and would love comments!

I am amazed at parents who buy and pay for cell phones for children. Like drinking and driving, talking and driving is setting a dangerous example; along with being rude when used in public without privacy of a car or outside location where no one is located. We're not setting good examples for manners.
PS: I gave up my cell phone six months ago and haven't missed it once or had a need to use it. That equates to $600. PS Gave up cable ten years ago and haven't missed that either =$12,0000 in ten years. My child is a well mannered honor student and the teachers like him and me-perhaps b/c he can't text during class. He gets nominated to special activities by his teachers and represents the school for special events. PARENTS TAKE BACK YOUR CHILDREN-TAKE THE CELL PHONE.

I would like to see a lap top and a
blackberry for each student.If we show
them the educational aspects of usage
and lead them I believe they will
become better students and more informed.
THEY SHOULD FOLLOW THE RULES BUT LET US
MAKE IT SENSIBLE AND RELATE IT TO THE
21ST CENTURY.

Our school started a policy last year that the high school students could have their phone on them during the day - but it had to be OFF and in their school bag (not on thier body), and if they used it during the school day they had to be outside a building. They could not call or text inside. this was to cut down not only on texting, but also on the possibility of cheating (with photos of tests, asking questions, googleing an answer, etc). In the middle school we were a little more strict. Their phones have to be off and in thier locker during the school day. For all students if they are caught they will get 10 demerits the first time (resulting in a Saturday shcool), and the second time they will have to turn in their phone to the office at the beginning of each day and pick it up at the end of the day. I am not sure if this drop off- pick up program will last the quarter or semester or year...but it seems to have been a good deterent.

I would also like to add that our school is a "laptop" school, so we are exposing them to technology every day. I do not feel that they are less "tech savy" from not being able to text during class. They text plenty out of class. I am sure they know how.

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