Wednesday, January 7, 2009

TXTBlaster...Create Keywords for Groups and Monitor Activity

Imagine being able to send text messages back and forth between yourself and your students, or yourself and your student's parents, or yourself and members of a committee. Imagine being able to have groups of students using text messages to communicate back and forth to each other about a class project and have it documented in one easy location for the teacher to monitor the group activity. Imagine students creating their own text messaging campaign, where they are the experts on a topic, and they can invite others to join in on their discussion through text messaging. All of this is possible with a resource called txtBlaster.

TxtBlaster is similar to Textmarks, it is a free, web-based resource that allows anyone to create a private or public group. Each group gets to create their own text messaging keyword, which they can give out to others to invite them to join the group. For example I just created a sample group with the texting keyword "kolb".
Therefore if you want to try it out...
Send a new text message from your cell phone
Send To: 25278
In Message: kolb

You should get a response from me and an option to join the group.

What I like about txtBlaster for education:
1) Private group options
2) No ads
3) Tracking of followers and group members
4) Sub-group options (so the teacher can create small subgroups of all her/his students when they are going group projects and monitor their texting activity from one account).
5) Lots of management options for control of the group
6) Database of all messages sent
7) Options for followers to send replies to group messages

Classroom Integration Ideas:
Texting brainstorming
Using the option to reply to the group or subgroups, students can brainstorm project ideas or homework readings outside of the classroom.

Texting Help Desk or Reference Line
Teachers can set up a text messaging help desk that could be run by former students who have already been successful with the curriculum. Media specialists could also run a reference desk through text messaging (similar to Southeastern Louisiana State Univ).

Text a Novel or Textbook
Since the text messages are collected in order of when they were sent, students could summarize a novel, write their own short novel, or collaborate on a textbook through text messaging with this tool.

2 comments:

Colin Jagoe said...

Cool, we were discussing wanting to use something like this as a trial, and now I think we can give this a try. Thanks!

Jason Witchins OSU said...

We use this all the time now -- it's fantastic and better than textmark or tatango -- lots more features and easier to use.

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