Stats Regarding Texting/Mobile Devices in the Classroom & What Instructors are Doing About it.

I recently read an article at EdTech Magazine entitled “Seven Concerning Statistics About Texting & Two Ways Professors are Tackling SMS.”

The article summarizes a study done at Wilkes University where students were asked about their text message usage during class. Here is what was found :

  • 99% (of students) believed cell phones should be allowed in the classroom
  • 95% (of students) brought their phones to class everyday
  • 91% (of students) had used their phones for text messages during class
  • 62% (of students) said texting in class should be allowed if it doesn’t disturb others
  • 25% (of students) stated that texting created a distraction to those sitting nearby
  • 10% (of students) said that they had sent or received text message during an exam.
  • 3% (of students) admitted to transmitting exam information during a test.

Now, what do we do about this ? These are some pretty crazy (yet, very believable) statistics.

I think this “problem” has two solutions. You either put in a policy that clearly states you do not want students on their cell phones during class OR you utilize their cell phones to enhance your teaching.

How to incorporate cell phones in the classroom: A few ideas below !

1. Poll Everywhere is FREE student response system. Instructors can prepare a list of questions for assessment purposes and students can text OR use the web to answer.

Polleverywhere 1

2. Remind101 allows instructors to bulk text (and/or email) their students. The good thing about this is that it can be done without teachers/students sharing their phone numbers with each other. Students can also individually choose if they prefer to receive emails or text messages, that way you are communicating with all of your students at the same time, and they are receiving that communication in their preferred way.


Finally, and not necessarily solely texting based, but for students with web enabled devices (smartphones, laptops…etc).

3. Socratic is a smart student response system that empowers teachers to engage their classrooms through a series of educational exercises and games via smartphones, laptops, and tablets.

Basically, you can use Socratic to introduce live polling (graded quizzes, real time assessment, games…etc). Students can use ANY device to text in answers for the different questions posed using this tool.

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