Why My Students Were Texting in Class…and Learning

Nov. 06, 2009

Source: Jlearn2.0


Rabbi Karen G. Reiss Medwed of Hebrew College wrote a guest blog post about a substitute class that she taught at Prozdor High School. The ninth grade students learned about Mitzvot with the help of phone texting. They answered questions via their cell phones and communicated with their "lifelines" to discuss points raised during the lesson, involving parents, friends and other contacts in the animated discussion of Mitzvot. The students loved this lesson. They loved using their phones, but more than that, they loved the learning.


Rabbi Medwed writes:

"Our classroom discussion was rich, full of personal connections and probing questions. While I have no empirical evidence that it was the medium that provided this depth, as a teacher, I had the clear sense that the conversation was informed by the medium. The explicit and implicit integrated curriculum brought it all together. An added benefit was that parents loved this lesson. It provided a rare window into their kids’ experience at Prozdor without having that awkward car conversation: How was class? Fine. What did you learn? Whatever."


She concludes:

"It is time for Jewish education to engage 21st century technology, to connect with our students using the media that are such an integral part of their daily lives. This is an educational imperative for formal as well as complementary Jewish education, and it is a valuable pedagogy for experiential education, as well."

Updated: Nov. 17, 2009