I spoke with a parent yesterday afternoon who has discontinued her child's cell phone service after her grades dropped.
My first reaction was "thank goodness!" This student is a chronic text messager, and to many of my students text messaging is the ultimate form of note passing: digital, so there's no detection (so they assume).
But I think back to a lesson I taught last week where I let them write and pass notes to their friends to show differences in audience. Everyone had a lot of fun, and I think everyone "got it."
I was speaking to a group of teachers a few weeks ago, and many of them wished for the day when parents could control the hours of the day text messaging services are available.
But is there someway this new technology could be integrated in our instruction? One thought is that AOL Instant Messanger allows students to send messages between computers and cell phones without any additional software needed on the phones, allowing students without cell phones or text messaging to still participate. A downside is making sure the class sanctioned messaging won't rack up parents' bills.