Discussion Starters

As my year 12 students are busy preparing for their end of year theoretical examination, I thought it would be a good opportunity to start an SMS Mailing list in which students sign up to receive one SMS message per day. The purpose of the mailing list is to teach mini concepts via 160 character text messages with the aim of further discussion on return to class. Occasionally, the SMS might contain a question in which the students need to respond to on the spot. The great thing about sending spontaneous messages of this nature is that students are forced to apply their understanding in a more real life setting, in which they may not have access to their resources.

See the picture below for an example of what the messages look like

To make this possible I have been using a service called www.smsglobal.com in which you can sign up for a free trial (25 credits). The great aspect of the service is the capacity to send multiple messages to groups with the push of a button.  You can also schedule messages ahead of time, minimising your need to log in and out of the web portal.

So why SMS over other internet services such as Twitter? Well to be honest, SMS is simple, no fuss and available to all.

5 thoughts on “Discussion Starters”

  1. Hi, my name is Lindsey Gipson and I am student at the University of South Alabama. I am in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class and was assigned to read, comment, and summarize two of your blog posts. I think that the use of SMS messaging for educational purposes is a great idea. My only concern would be for the students who do not have access. I know that in our technologically advanced society the majority of students, have cell phones and their own personal computer. I wish there was a way to ensure that all students had access, and could reap the benefits of technology.

  2. Thanks for the comment, your concerns are spot on, Before completing this with your students you would ensure access. This is what I have done, knowing that everyone could participate. In the past this has been achieved via an anonymous survey of families in the school. The crazy thing about mobile phones is that families will have them before they have other, perhaps more important things. There todays must have items

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