While much of the deluge was back-and-forth banter on tardiness, homework, or grade anxiety, Campbell also began using the constant communiqués as a means to engage students in learning. He began texting a daily journal topic every morning and encouraged students to think about it before they came to class. So far, it's been largely effective, perhaps as a result of the psychology that makes cell phones so addictive for teens in the first place.
"Everyone has a compulsion to read that text message when it bleeps, bings, chimes, or vibrates. No exceptions," Campbell has written of the program. "Sooner or later you have to open that text and read it. It's like captive-audience advertising, but for the good guys in education, rather than marketing."
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