Should students be encouraged to use their mobile phones in class for learning purposes?

Today I was taking part in the University of Ulster’s Centre for Higher Education Practice Festival of Innovation Practice. I was presenting our work on text messaging with students and as part of the presentation asked delegates to vote (by text message) on the following statement:

Students should be encouraged to use their mobile phones in class for learning purposes

Possible responses were:

CHEPA – Strongly Agree
CHEPB – Agree
CHEPC – Disagree
CHEPD – Strongly Disagree


The responses (n = 13), as shown in the pie chart above, were predominantly in agreement with the statement though concern was voiced that the system could be open to abuse.

Students using mobiles in class both for voting and for asking questions of the lecturer (especially in large groups) has some attractive advantages though the approach should be carefully considered and tailored to the individual circumstance.

I would be interested to hear the views of colleagues who have employed text messaging in education. When does it work best? When not?

Many thanks to all who contributed votes and / or comments today!

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