An interesting phenomena has occurred over the last decade. According to a new article from the Washington Post, with the rise of text messaging among teenagers and young adults has come a demise of talking on the phone. The preference of texting over talking is not limited to teenagers, may adults in their 20's and 30's also prefer to text message. According to Nielsen, the national average monthly voice minutes have gone from 1,200 to 900 from 2008 to 2010. And amongst teenagers and young adults (18 to 24) the monthly average went from 600 messages a month in 2008 two years ago to more than 1,400 in 2010. The cost of text messaging has also declined over the past few years, according to Nielsen, the average customer in the US now pays about 1 penny per text message, thus making it a very accessible form of communication.
I think this information is relevant to K-12 education and teachers. Knowing that the preferred form of communication is quickly changing from a phone call to text message informs educators that schools should be taking full advantage of that form of communication. While some schools are stating to use Text Message Alert systems (I like the free system of http://txtblaster.com), and a few educators are now doing some integrating of text messaging into their core curricula (such as this English teacher who has his students texting poetry ), many are still shying away from this new literacy (even dismissing it as a negative form of communication). Knowing that text messaging is fast becoming the #1 form of communication reminds me that it will also be an important literacy for the 21st century job force.
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