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Students Gathered with Devices

Achieving Student Engagement via Text

by Chris Berdik

The Hechinger Report

Article excerpt

can u fix education w/ txts?

In his new book, The 160-Character Solution: How Text Messaging and Other Behavioral Strategies can Improve Education, the University of Virginia education professor argues that the humble text message can boost student achievement, improve study habits and help students stay on track in the transition from high school to college.

Our take

If you can’t beat them, join them?

Stroll around any high school or college campus today and you’re likely to see students walking with heads down, engrossed in whatever is on the screens of their mobile devices. That tendency represents opportunity says Benjamin Castleman, the author of The 160-Character Solution. This article offers examples of how colleges are successfully using text messaging to boost enrollment rates, but clearly there are a wide range of other opportunities as well. Could you incorporate texting into your communication efforts to engage students and their parents?

Texting, prolific among the Gen Y and Gen Z populations, may offer opportunity for engagement to boost individualized and personalized education; studies suggest some efficacy. If texting can help clinicians ensure better health behaviors on the part of patients via reminders, it may also help improve study habits as well as compliance with assignments and remembering test dates and other important “to do’s.” Communication with parents may also provide opportunity to better engage and inform.