Text Messaging in the Classroom

When I first was exposed to corporate training, mobile phones were usually only seen on the hips of management and executives.  Typical employees didn't have or see the need to maintain constant communication with the outside world. This has obviously changed over the years as mobile phones have become more affordable. We now or will shortly be at a place where everyone simply has a mobile phone. Activation rates of mobile phones surpassed their wired counterparts years ago. Of course along with obvious voice calls, mobile phones do so much more today than what they did a few years ago.

Instead of asking learners to shut off their phones during class, have learners use them to add engagement to their learning. Text messaging is available on every mobile phone and in recent years the problems with cross carrier and international text messaging have been solved.  These text messages can contribute to your training data and can be including in your training reports. Here are a few ways this technology can be used:

Level One Evaluations - ask your learners to text in feedback either during or after training. Have them answer questions like what is working well, what is not working well and what they would like to see changed or added to training.

Knowledge Checks or Surveys - ask your students some survey questions or quiz questions to ensure they have an understanding of what you have taught. You may also just want to get your student opinions. Do this just before a break to give you time to analyze the data to share the results with your students after the break.  Check out http://www.polleverywhere.com/ for an affordable solution based on classroom size.

Follow-up to Training - capturing your student's mobile phone numbers gives you another way to follow up with your learners. With their prior permission of course, you could text out questions they can reply to, or simply share additional knowledge once they have returned to the workplace.

Be creative. As more and more millennial generation enter the workplace, more and more of your learners will not only embrace the use of technology in the classroom, they will expect it. Feel free to suggest your own methods for using texting in the classroom by adding your comments below.