Five Mistakes When Texting Students

Dave Marshall, President at Mongoose enterprise SMS management platform, wrote an article for Higher Ed Live on the five don’ts of texting students. Considering how accustomed students are to texting, instructors would be wise to heed Marshall’s suggestions. The following are five mistakes you should avoid when texting students:

  1. Using emergency alert systems. Emergency alert systems are intended to notify students of important, potentially dangerous, situations on campus. You should avoid desensitizing students to this service by bogging it down with basic communication.
  2. Avoid student jargon and slang. You are an instructor and authority figure. Avoid using texting abbreviations. One important aspect of being an instructor is setting an excellent example. Marshall says you do not need to text like a robot, but you should be typing “you’re” and not “ur”.
  3. Using Periods. If you are texting students to start a dialogue, then you should avoid declarative statements. Marshall suggests asking questions instead; a question prompts a response.
  4. Being unavailable for replies. So, you took the advice in number 3 and texted your students a question.  Marshall warns that if you do so, be ready to handle responses. Students will likely expect you to respond immediately if they reply to a text you send. Marshall suggests staggering your texts: maybe break your students into thirds and text each group one at a time.
  5. Not having a plan. As with any technology in the classroom, you should have a strategy when implementing new tools. Marshall suggests being careful not to ‘spam’ students with texts. Even though students will love the convenience of texting, they will likely not appreciate being inundated with texts.

You can read Marshall’s full article here:

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