Text Messaging in Education: Bridging Communication Gaps and Empowering Students
In the ever-evolving world of education, communication remains vital. When educational institutions fail to implement and streamline communication effectively, students, parents, and educators suffer the consequences:
- Missed Deadlines: Missed due dates from poor communication cause students to face academic stress, lower grades, and a snowball effect of long-term consequences.
- Frustration and Confusion: Inaccessible or scattered information causes students, parents, and educators to waste time when they could be doing things that are more productive or more beneficial.
- Education Inequality: Ineffective communication increases the divide between those with and those without the support and resources.
- Increased Workload: Institutions that fail to streamline communications place unnecessary administrative burdens on educators, forcing them to take time away from teaching.
- Reduced Engagement: Inefficient communication creates a missed opportunity to encourage students to engage with their coursework and hold them accountable to stay on top of their academic obligations.
- Disconnected Parents: Improper communication leads to missed opportunities for parent involvement and support.
MyTextMate's team dedicates itself to helping educational institutions implement and streamline communication effectively and empowering students, parents, and educators, elevating learning at every step of the journey. In this post, we will explore the current research on effective communication and how schools and districts can leverage it to radically transform education for everyone involved.
Students Prefer Texting
Recent statistics reveal a massive shift in student technology engagement. Between 2015 and 2022, smartphone ownership among teenagers soared from 73% to 95% (Atske, 2022). Today's teenagers spend an average of over 7 hours daily on their smartphones, excluding school and homework (Rideout & Robb, 2019). Amid this digital revolution, one communication method remains constant: text messaging.
Despite the many available communication channels, texting reigns supreme, with 97% of smartphone users sending text messages weekly (Smith, 2020). For teenagers, it is the preferred mode of communication, with 55% choosing texts for daily conversations, compared to just 6% using email (Lenhart, 2020).
The Missed Opportunity
Despite students' overwhelming preference for text messages, essential academic information often arrives through emails and push notifications. The consequences of this disconnect are profound – students read just 20% of their emails (Nickerson, 2008) and a mere 2.25% of their push notifications (CleverTap, 2020), while they read 98% of their text messages (Silpa et al., 2023). In other words, emails and push notifications are slipping through the cracks, and educational institutions must embrace texting as their primary mode of communication to consistently reach their students.
Research highlights the remarkable impact text messaging has on students' ability to stay on track. One study found that text messages motivated 86% of students to complete unfinished tasks and informed 85% about things they did not realize they needed to do (Castleman & Page, 2014). MyTextMate's survey reinforces these findings. MyTextMate's personalized text messages kept 92% of students organized and reminded 88% of critical due dates they would have otherwise forgotten (MyTextMate, 2021).
Text Messages in Education
While some educational institutions have adopted text messaging as a mode of communication, they have yet to tailor the messages to the unique schedule and individual needs of every student and parent receiving them. The lack of information in the texts forces the students and parents to rely on multiple communication streams being sent at all times of the day to see what they need to progress with their academic obligations. It also forces educators to communicate their deadlines, which is only necessary due to the implemented communication system's lack of ability to sync with the coursework.
MyTextMate shines as the pioneering platform that syncs automatically with coursework, removing the burden of communication from the educators and putting the power of communication in the hands of those receiving it, namely the students and parents. That way, academic information is received in one place and entirely on their terms. MyTextMate offers a level of personalization unparalleled in education and stands as the first and only platform that puts students and parents in complete control of when and how they receive their text messages, from the style of greetings to the details of due dates and even the classes from which they want to receive reminders.
Bridging the educational communication gap is an ongoing effort. It requires the continued utilization of technology to remove the burden of manual communication from students, parents, and educators and shift the focus back to learning – where it belongs. Currently, MyTextMate's solution provides a radical shift to what exists today for educational communication.