Texting and Tweeting to Improve Communication Skills

[This article highlights the importance of reflection and communication. Letting students text ideas about information or concepts recently learning increases the learner’s retention. It’s the job of the educator to find productive ways to use the technology. Texting and tweeting can be distractions, if there’s not an academic purpose.]

Jun 8, 2015 02:07 PM By

Texting may often serve as a distraction among students in the classroom, but professors are slowly figuring out that they can use smartphones to help kids learn. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Texting may often serve as a distraction among students in the classroom, but professors are slowly figuring out that they can use smartphones to help kids learn. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Gone are the days when kids would get in trouble for passing notes in class. Today’s youngsters are much more sophisticated, technologically speaking, than those who grew up in the days of flip phones and CD players — let alone those whose only access to a phone growing up was a spin-dial one. This means there’s a lot more texting, tweeting, and Facebooking on smartphones in your average high school or college classroom than ever before.

Does this also mean that kids today are way more distracted by the bombardment of information reaching them via their tablets and iPhones? A new study out of the National Communication Association wanted to find out whether increased smartphone and social media use in class impacted student learning — and what they found was that it had both negative and positive effects.

In the study, researchers analyzed kids who were using phones in class to respond to text messages — both relevant and irrelevant to the class material. They measured the type of messages and the frequency of them, and found that students who were texting about the material actually scored higher on multiple choice tests about the subject than those who were texting about non-class related things.

Medical Daily article

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