We all know that teenagers love to text. According to Amanda Lenhart, Senior Research Specialist, Pew Internet & American Life Project, “More than half of teens (54%) are daily texters.” Thank you Mr. Obvious for helping to research how many teens text daily. Any parent or teacher of teens already knew this answer.
However, a concern of parents and teachers has been whether all of this text messaging could hurt a child’s literacy. Two researchers, Beverly Plester and Clare Wood, used 35 eleven-year-olds to learn the effect text messaging, specifically abbreviations, had on reading and writing skills. They found that texting with abbreviations can actually improve spelling and writing skills. http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2006/sep/11/schools.uk1 So much for blaming change or technology on student achievement!
Now, I am not ready to have my students write essays in text message abbreviations, but it looks like I will have to accept those texts with abbreviations that my nephews and children send me. And, I am curious how I can have students text in class. Last year, I had a student teacher who showed me how to create a quiz that students would answer using text messaging. The live results could be shown with a multimedia projector. It was an engaging way to review a day’s lesson.
If anyone has any other ideas I would love to hear them.