Like Google SMS, Udefn is a SMS text message referencing tool that is free to anyone. The difference is that YOU create the keywords. For example if I want weather reports, my keyword might be "w". In addition, Udefn allows you to add your own RSS feeds and create a keyword for them. Therefore I could create a keyword for my favorite blogs, wikis, NPR reports...etc. I am not limited to the Google keyword list!
A few of Udefn's Keyword Options
- Gmail: Create keywords to read your email! You do not need to have mobile Internet on your cell phone to read your email. Just set up a keyword at Udefn and text each time you want to catch up on your email!
- HTTP Uptime: Check up to 3 websites at once from one keyword!
- RSS: Create your own keyword for your favorite RSS feed!
How is this helpful in Education?
First, I love that students can pick their own unique keywords. Just as students learn differently, they will remember keywords for different reasons. It gives them some choice and authority over their learning.
Second, Udefn includes a message history, so the teacher can check to see when keywords were sent and the messages received!
Third is Email accessibility. Since there are more students with cell phones than have Internet access, the text option to read email allows for accessibility to email without the cost of mobile Internet.
Lisa Nielsen posted some great ideas on using Google SMS and many of those ideas apply to Udefn. Check those out here.
Below is one idea that works well with Udefn.
Using the RSS option, students can keep up with current events; news, stocks, innovation, local happenings via SMS on their cell phone wherever they are. This is nice for any class that integrates current events into the curriculum. By creating their own RSS keywords, students can follow their own choice of newspapers, blogs, and web resources to get their current events. They could even compare and contrast the accuracy of the news and the reporting with each other.