The Tempered Radical wrote about texting:
But it is impossible to deny that texting has provided dozens of new writing opportunities for our kids. After all, the average teen sends 50 texts a dayâ€”a number that rises to 80 when you look at just the teen girls who are texting.
Now I know what youâ€™re thinking: Itâ€™s difficult to see much writing value in messages that are full of text-speak. Can we really count the six â€œLOLsâ€ and â€œROTFLsâ€ sent per day as writing opportunities?
The answer is yesâ€”because no matter how short-hand-ed-ly written a message is, it is still an opportunity for writing that our kids didnâ€™t have back in the good olâ€™ text-free days of yesteryear.
He goes on:
If I wanted to try to use texting as a tool for giving students opportunities to develop writing and spelling proficiency, I think Iâ€™d wind â€˜em up on 25 word stories.
A fun Twitter project that I first learned about from Kevin Hodgson, 25 word stories are exactly what you think they are: Attempts to write complete stories in 25 words or less.
The 25 word limit is beautiful for lots of reasons. Perhaps most importantly to me as a professional writing teacher, 25 word stories require authors to be creative in their word choice and to craft pieces that force readers to rely on inferences to figure out whatâ€™s really going on.
And then, about using these stories in the classroom:
When my kids were done with their 25 word stories, Iâ€™d have â€˜em text them to their friendsâ€”who could pretty easily respond with feedback. Suddenly, the audience for a text message becomes the audience for an interesting bit of writing.
And once the audience for a text message becomes the audience for an interesting bit of writing, spelling matters again.
By giving kids a specific, interesting task for the text messages that theyâ€™re writing, we can start to shift their perception of messaging as a forum for informal communication to messaging as a forum for sharing bits of interesting, well-developed thought.
There’s more. I really recommend going to the post and reading it all.
But why did this particular thing catch my fancy right now? I’ve been living with digital technology as a focus for a paper and this fits within my first point which is, use what we already have to do relevant things. We don’t all need Kindles (though I love them) nor iPads (which I don’t have). What we have we can use. Students already have cell phones. They already text.
I really like this idea.
Perhaps I can work with the texting in the Brit Lit II class. When they are reading their poems could I have them Tweet the meaning of the poem in 25 words? Could I have them tell the next part of the story or the back story? It’s an interesting idea.