Not just students…..
Next time you are driving or riding down the street?
Look at how many kids and audults are walking along looking at their phones and not in front of them….
They ain’t talking….
They ARE reading a text message….
People ARE slowly moving from talking in-person to impersonal texting….
When students apply for colleges and jobs, they won’t conduct interviews through their smart phones. When they negotiate pay raises and discuss projects with employers, they should exude a thoughtful presence and demonstrate the ability to think on their feet (or at least without Google). When they face significant life decisions, they must be able to think things through and converse with their partners. If the majority of their conversations are based on fragments pin-balled back and forth through a screen, how will they develop the ability to truly communicate in person?
It’s no surprise to any teacher or parent that teenagers rely heavily on cell phones for communication. According to the Pew Research Center, one in three teens sends over 100 text messages a day. More than half of teens use texting to communicate daily with friends, versus only 33 percent who regularly talk face to face. Cell phone use is rampant at most schools (mine included), despite attempts to restrict or even integrate it into the curriculum.
But in our zealous rush to meet 21st-century demands—emailing assignments, customizing projects for tablets and laptops, and allowing students to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)—we aren’t asking students to think and communicate in real time. Online discussion boards and Twitter are useful tools for exchanging ideas. But they often encourage a “read, reflect, forget about it” response that doesn’t truly engage students in extended critical thinking or conversation. All too often I’ve seen students simply post one (required) response to the prompt and then let the discussion go dead…..
I do NOT want to discard the ability to leave text messages for people when they are not reachable….Or to do text messaging to cover ones butt….