A article in British Journal of Developmental Psychology documents some recent research suggesting that texting can help improve literacy skills.

Beverly Plester and colleagues at England’s Coventry University believes that this is because textisms are phonetically based: “Phonological awareness has long been associated with good reading skills. These kids are engaging with more written language and they’re doing it for fun.

Teachers are starting to argue the same thing and are looking for ways to use cell phones as part of instruction. This, of course, goes against attempts by school districts to ban their use by students.

Beth Lynne of Teaching & Technology Suite 101:

Educators, parents and students should think of some of these possibilities when addressing the cell phone issue:

  • Students can take pictures of class projects to e-mail or show to parents. Ordinarily, parents do not see projects that are completed in groups in school.
  • Students can text message missed assignments to classmates that are absent. A buddy system can be put into place.
  • Many cell phones are equipped with calculators—plenty of new math curricula encourage the use of a calculator when problem-solving. A student should become accustomed to having a calculator handy for both homework and real life math applications.
  • If a student is slow to copy notes from the board, pictures can be taken of the missed notes and accessed later. Ditto sending notes to absent classmates.
  • Students can listen to music with ear buds if the cell phone is equipped with this option during independent study—many students find this relaxing and comfortable and are more productive as a result.

I’m sure there are many more ideas out there.

Change isn’t always easy but can we at least talk about it?