Chapter 8: Communication and Collaborating with Social Media
Focus Question: How can teachers use email or text messaging to foster information exchanges with and among students?
Email and Text Messaging:
Let's be honest, most students have a cell phone and some also have computers at home. I know that I am still young and all of my friends have a cell phone, a Facebook, and an email. Teachers can use this to an advantage. I met a teacher once and she had made a text messaging app on her phone that she used with her students. The students could subscribe to her phone number so when she sent out a message to a certain class all the people in that class that subscribed to her would get that message. The students did not have to subscribe though. It was completely up to the student if they wanted to or not. The teacher also had the same concept for parents. The parents could subscribe to her and the teacher could even send out messages to just one specific parent if she chose to. Many students in the same class are friends with each other and most likely text or email each other. The teacher could set up an assignment for students to work together and the students could incorporate emailing and texting into the assignment. I know for other classes I would text my partner during the beginning stages of the assignment to brainstorm with them. Texting seemed easier than calling and interrupting them. When I email someone I may take long to reply so I find that texting is more efficient. No matter where you go there is most likely going to be someone on their cell phone checking messages or on Facebook. This is common among today's young people and teachers should use it to their full advantage.
|Photo Credit to: Theo La Photo on Flickr|
I personally used to love using Skype. With Skype computer users can make free phone calls over the internet and can instant message each other. Teachers can create unique assignments using Skype. One idea would be getting in touch with another teacher from another country or in a different state. They can then pair up students in each class with one another and have them learn about each other and create a paper based on this. This would be an interesting assignment for students. Students can also use Google Talk. I love using Google Talk. I use it to communicate with my boyfriend who lives in Hollywood, Fl and we both love the service. It is free and all you have to have is a Gmail account. Since most people use Google for every day searching that shouldn't be difficult. Students can conference with one another about assignments and make it easier to talk with each other if one person in their group is out of town. Gmail is easier to use on your phone than Skype is but both are great options.
Text messaging and email is how everything gets done now-a-days. I know that all my teachers email me and it's just expected that I will receive them. Some teachers email me if I am running behind and others email me to let me know that I'm doing well in the class. Texting has not been incorporated in my schooling yet but I text classmates when I need help or I email some of them on Edison if I don't have their number. Teachers are using it more and more now more than ever since every student seems to have a cell phone on them. I predict that in the future teachers will incorporate them even more.
Textbook - Maloy, Robert, Verock-O’Loughlin,Ruth-Ellen, Edwards, Sharon A., and Woolf, Beverly Park (2013). Transforming Learning with New Technologies. 2nd Edition. Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.