Should schools encourage students and teachers to text?
The incidents are numerous. It all starts with a simple, harmless text message and grows into a full blown inappropriate student-teacher relationship.
While some school districts around the country are rushing to ban student-teacher texting in order to diminish the likelihood of improper relationships developing, others are testing whether the texts are actually beneficial to students.
Though texting between students and teachers exposes both to the possibility of a private relationship, advocates of the model argue that teachers can use the form of social media to engage students.
Why not email? Well, most young students prefer texting and other social media outlets to email, which many see as outdated. Though email or a form of instant messaging, like Gchat, would be the answer if all students have smart phones or regular access to a personal computer, most do not. But, everyone texts.
The model would work best if the potential for the school-related texts to turn private was completely removed. This could be accomplished through the use of group text messaging systems and providers that shield phone numbers so that no personal information is shared.
Despite the obvious vulnerabilities of this model, if it better engages students in classroom content and makes them more excited about going to school, then school districts should be more receptive to the benefits of social media.