Texting in class?

I’ve recently been training teachers on ways to change their “research and report” lessons into more meaningful assessment of mastery. One of the tools I’ve been sharing utilizes a communication venue our students are quite familiar with – texting.

Fake iPhone Text is a simple web-based tool that creates visual representations of text message conversations. It is easy to use and visually engaging for students. Just type in a conversation

Mom: When will you be home from school?
Kid: idk

Then click Create and you’ll quickly see an image that shows the text conversation as if it appeared on a smart phone.

Ideas of how to use it in a classroom include:

1. As a bell-ringer, have students determine who the text conversation is between. Note that the visual does not include the speakers you typed, so students will have to find clues that will tell them who the conversation is between. In my example above, a student might say “I think this is between a parent and a student because the parent used full sentence and proper grammar while the kid used a texting abbreviation”.

2. For a writing prompt – give students the incoming text and tell them to use the fake text creator to show the resulting conversation between two given individuals.

3. In groups, assign students a pair of individuals or a situation to create a text conversation about. After they are finished, share the resulting visuals with other groups to see if they can determine who or what the conversation is about.

4. As a character study, have students create a conversation between characters in a book or historical characters, or better yet, characters from different books or time periods, such as Edward from Twilight texting Romeo for dating advice or President Obama texting President Lincoln for advice on how to handle the budget.

5. This could work for anything that has a relationship, so think outside the box and have students create a text conversation between fluorine and lithium – would it be an explosive relationship or a peaceful one? In Geometry, there are many relationships – have text conversations between Geometry terms for a better understanding of their relationship.

What about your ideas? Give the website a try and comment here with any ideas you come up with – and share if you use it in your classroom!

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4 responses to “Texting in class?

  1. Amanda Brantley

    It is so funny that you just posted this. I had my students use this site today! They had to create 2 different text conversations that show different voice. They had the same topic, but had to talk to two different people. I have to be able to tell who they are talking to just by how they say it.

  2. At first the site doesn’t look that great, but once the text is entered it is really good. I am going to try this next week. Thanks for the tip.

    • I agree, it is very plain – so it is something that would normally slip off the radar. But it has the desired results. Let me know how it goes when you try it.

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