National Writing Project

Zero-Thumb Game: How to Tame Texting

Publication: Edutopia
Date: May 28, 2008

Summary: Writing project teachers weigh in on how to harness the popularity of text messaging among teens to generate interest in academic subjects and writing in general.


Excerpt from Article

Sometimes texting can help reticent students speak up, because their comfort level with the technology can encourage participation, even if the teacher insists on proper spelling. Janelle Quintans Bence, codirector of the North Star of Texas Writing Project, asked her English-language-learner students to create questions about a story they'd read. She then had students volunteer to text those questions, and responses, to her and their classmates. "Not only did I have more replies than I expected, but the questions were open ended, so students used more English to respond," Bence says. "I had students who rarely join in discussions in class share ten or more responses."

Originally published (5/28/2008) ©; The George Lucas Educational Foundation.
Bernard, Sara. 2008. "Zero-Thumb Game: How to Tame Texting." Edutopia, May 28.

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