How are you using texting/sms for professional or educational use?

Many educators with whom I work only know of using text messaging for personal reasons. I'd like to collect ideas to share about how innovative educators are using texting/sms as a professional or instructional tool. Thanks in advance for sharing great ideas.

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I really like wifitti (http://wiffiti.com/) and may actually get around to using it this year in class. It functions similar to twitter in that you can text to send in messages to a computer screen. It is, however, much prettier than Twitter. I hope to use it during lectures this year so students can post questions/comments in real time.

Last year I used texts for polling using polleverywhere.com and that was interesting.

What will be most interesting this year is what I'll be able to do considering my school's new restrictions on student cell phone use.
Hi Kev,

Can you say a little more about wiffiti.com? Would you use a hashtag type feature so that you can tag questions and see them in a single place? Or do you set up a room?

Re: the cell phone issue, I did write a post that may be helpful called Ideas for Enhancing Teaching and Learning with Cell Phones Even in Districts ...

The premise is that even is these tools are banned in school, since students spend a lot of time away from school, we can still incorporate the use of these tools into their work away from school or perhaps during field trips. I do think there is merit to the idea that we need to start making compelling cases and provide evidence that technology such as cells are powerful instructional tools. Then we have to document this with samples of student work, lessons, and videos and determine a smart place to use for such a repository
I just set my own room. Wiffiti has made some changes so it isn't quite as intuitive as in the past I feel. I have to now make up a gibberish word to put in the TAGs section to keep it from posting random messages from other users. When I played with it last year I seem to remember it being more private and less communal. Either way, I still like it more than Twitter for this type of use because of how simple it is to keep the messages on target.

The problem with cell phone use at my school is actually one that goes well beyond cell phones and it actually is a teacher issue not an admin issue. The issue is an overall lack of uniform discipline at our site. In an attempt to fix that we have agreed to truly enforce the rules on the books next year. Until I get an addendum on the rule that says "unless used as instructed by the teacher" I feel like I need to back the rule in the name of the greater good.

Of course, I'd imagine within a month of school starting half the rules will be ignored by someone and I'll happily ignore the no electronics rule :p
Hi Lisa, I've got an innovative use of SMS in the school environment. Bully SMS - An open source mobile bullying incident reporting system for school.

I've had a great deal of interest from Australia, India and the Philippines. I will be starting to promote in the US and Canada in the new year. This is a personal project so it takes a great deal of my free time. Soon I hope to secure some funding so I can pay an admin assistant. I can help you trial it in your school perhaps early next year if you are interested.

Anyways I'd love some feedback.

Bully SMS is a new social innovation. A solution to reduce bullying. It enables students to report anonymously and schools to respond instantly to bullying or cyber bullying incidences. Bully SMS software is available free to all schools and organisations that have an existing policy on bullying. .....

www.bullysms.org
I am attempting to use texting and the site www.wiffiti.com to show my students how to use the Web as "a voice" and 21st Century communication tool.

http://yvhslifescience.wikispaces.com/

Our school had a kite design contest and it was a lot of fun. The inspiration for the contest was to provide props for the school's Charlie Brown play. The 6th period Life Science class worked hard and earned SECOND PLACE (YEAH!) with the kite at the following link. These students felt they won hands down with their kite's dangling tail. This tail represented the Red Baron's Fokker triplane imagined by Snoopy in the second act of the play.

In an attempt to appease my 6th period class and show them an example of 21th century communication, I created the following page. These students were strongly asking for "a voice" and this being a teachable moment for them, I took the opportunity to show them how to use the Web to have "a voice."

I used wikispaces to present their issue and www.wiffiti.com to collect texted responses from mobile devices.
http://yvhslifescience.wikispaces.com/

Please checkout the site and give these student feedback in the next week. 5/28/2010
I've used wiffiti as well, and I like it specifically for immediate feedback/questions during a lesson or activity.

I also think sites like Twitter and DailyBooth have great applications for the classroom, as does SCVNGR. I wrote a blog post about using these tools that might interest you.

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