Hechinger Report: Can u fix education w/ txts?


Facing some of America’s biggest education challenges, Benjamin Castleman thinks small. In his new book, The 160-Character Solution: How Text Messaging and Other Behavioral Strategies can Improve Education, the University of Virginia education professor argues that the humble text message can boost student achievement, improve study habits and help students stay on track in the transition from high school to college.

Start with the obvious. Texting is cheap, and it’s everywhere. None of the newer social-media apps have anywhere near its reach. You don’t need a powerful computer or broadband Internet to text. You just need a phone and fast thumbs.

But Castleman says the advantages of texting go beyond its popularity with hard-to-reach teenagers. New software makes it possible to customize automated text messages to fit the needs of individual students. Administrators can now send personalized, and timely, reminders and resource links to thousands of students, whose questions and replies are routed to appropriate counselors and teachers. Read the full story »