I'm just going to step up to the microphone and admit it.
I'm Michelle, and I have a love-hate relationship with texting. (Okay, now you answer, "Hi, Michelle." And I continue.)
I love the convenience of getting a quick answer with a text, but I HATE that my daughter is always giggling about a funny text or tweet she just received when I want her full attention. I just feel like she's not present in the moment.
I imagine that there are a lot of folks--not just parents--who feel much the same as I do. But I have come to this conclusion: It's just where we are.
So, I was completely excited when I saw Nursing and Allied Health Professions professor Teresa Shellenbarger's news about a recent poster presentation that explains how texting can be used effectively in the classroom. I also loved her title: "OMG: Encouraging Texting in the Classroom." That's media gold. Encouraging texting in the sacred space that is the classroom? I knew it would attract reporters' attention.
And it did.
Dr. Shellenberger was featured in a July 30, 2011, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review story headlined, "Professor Incorporates Use of Cell Phones as Classroom Tool."
I love her quote: "I just got tired of fighting them. I figured, if I can't beat them, why not join them? Why not use cell phone technology in class?"
She goes on: "I use texting to poll the class. I post a question for them to see, and they text their answers that I post on a PowerPoint for the class to see. And sometimes when we're working on a controversial topic where students don't really want to own a response, I have them phone a friend and get an anonymous opinion to post."
This quote is my favorite: "A class can be mediocre and dull, and when I tell students to get out their phones and text to a question, the energy level just goes up."
This media hit was posted on IUP's Facebook page, and it resulted in several comments, including, "I'm dying to tap into this technology as a tool (in my high school class)," to, "Please don't encourage cell phone use in the classroom." Both valid points. Dr. Shellenbarger shared with me the Horizon Report for 2011, which forecasts that cell phones are the "trend to watch" for educators. I'm sure there will be MUCH MORE on this topic!
I'm still working on my twelve steps. See you at the next meeting.