Tired of Email? How about texting professors?

By: Kyle Magee | Posted October 22, 2015

How many times have you sent an email to a professor or vice versa, and it hasn’t gone through? Have you ever driven to school and checked your email and realized that your professor cancelled class at three in the morning? This is what is leading some educators to consider the idea of switching from email communication to text messaging.

Inside Higher Ed recently published an article that discusses whether or not email is the most effective way for professors to get in contact with their students. The article mentions how the quickness and simplicity of texting can be of benefit in the classroom.

Within the article, Benjamin L. Castleman, an assistant professor of education and public policy at the University of Virginia said “If we want to inform young people, if we want to promote good choices and we want to engage them in meaningful dialogue, we have a pedagogical responsibility to meet them where they’re at, so to speak,” he said. “Right now that’s texting.”

Communication in the classroom is a crucial element to a healthy learning environment. Email in some cases, can put a strain on fluid communication.

When communicating by email, there are a number of different variables that can cause students to miss the message. With Kean’s email system for example, some cell phones cannot register the “kean.edu email, not allowing students to get notifications sent to their phones.

With a system as large as a University driven email service, students can also get locked out of their accounts. All these variables contribute to some professors shifting the paradigm toward texting.

Kelly Nemeth, an adjunct communication professor at Kean, is one of the professors who has made the switch from email to text messaging her students.

“Student’s don’t often check their emails,” said Nemeth. “The first thing they do in the morning is check their texts. I’d like them to see my message that says their class is cancelled when they first wake up so they don’t drive here at 8am for no reason.” said Nemeth.

Professor Nemeth also has a solution to what could cause professors and students to shy away from the idea of communicating through text. Nemeth uses a software called Remind.

This software is made for teachers who wish to get in contact with their class via text, but does not share the cell phone numbers of students.

The Remind program is extremely simple to use and can be set up in a matter of minutes. This allows the convenience of text messaging, but the privacy of email.

Joseph Colabraro, a junior at Kean, feels as though text message communication for education could be beneficial.

“I wouldn’t mind as long as I gave my consent,” said Colabraro. “People are always on their phones and that would be most convenient, it would be really useful with class cancellations too.”

Brett Bodayle, a freshman at Kean was hesitant to the idea of receiving iMessages from a Professor.

“I think it’s a little weird,” said Bodayle. “I wouldn’t want one of my teachers to be sending me emojis.”


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