This article about texting from The New York Times points to some of the frustrations of allowing cell phones in the classroom. According to the article, teenagers are spending more and more time texting each other, including during class, with their cell phones hidden underneath their desks or jackets. It’s to the point where teachers find it more productive to ignore the behavior than stop class to reprimand those who engage in covert in-class texting.
And it’s not just in the classroom that texting is causing problems. Many teens are now sending hundreds of text messages a day, which works out to one text message every couple of minutes, sometimes even during the night. That amount of texting can cut into a good night’s sleep and can even cause pain in the texter’s thumbs, say doctors.
It’s hard for me to imagine students getting any homework done if they’re constantly being interrupted by a buzzing, chirping phone every few minutes, and some parents are now setting limits on the amount of time kids spend texting as well as the hours when they’re allowed to text with their friends. According to the article, texting isn’t as closely monitored by parents as video-game playing or time spent surfing the Internet, but that may start to change if texting begins to impact students’ performance in school.
If you are a teacher, how does this article compare with your experience? How do you deal with the texters in your classroom? And if you are a parent, do you set limits on your child’s text messaging, or is it something that they’re able to control themselves?
A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.