Yesterday I had my first texting session with my son.
This may not seem like a big deal for most parents, but it was a hugely enlightening experience for me.
It started simply, with a 'Hi mommy' followed by 'I love you' and so much more. My husband was at a doctor's appointment, and my son was in the waiting room checking in with me on dad's smartphone.
I asked him a lot of questions, which he read and replied to without many mistakes. And he was not using voice text or any other text-helper. I asked him; he was typing on the phone.
I'm so used to seeing backward letters, inappropriate spacing, misspelled words that appear sounded out and no punctuation. But when he texted me, I felt giddy realizing the potential for typing/texting as an academic learning-tool. I wish he could use a computer to type his assignments and homework for school -- at least part of the time, but I do understand and appreciate the real-life need for proper handwriting.
Apparently, I am not alone in believing there's a benefit to texting and computer-assisted writing for children like mine. I just don't know where it's all headed.
"Very little research has been done about texting and educational benefits for students (both with and without disabilities), but there are some applications that have promising uses for students with LD," according to an article from LD Online, Blogs, Wikis and Text Messaging: What are the Implications for Students with Learning Disabilities
This article is more than a few years old, and I did not see a whole lot new since then but I look forward to researching how and if schools are implementing texting and computer-assisted learning for specific-learning-disabled students.
"Another potential educational use for cell phones and text messaging is in the area of organization. Several teachers have begun experimenting with sending texts to their students reminding them of assignments, upcoming quizzes and other important events," the article says.
That would be a dream, especially for things like field-trip money or aftercare reminders.
I'm also going to consider my stance on him not having a cell phone, as you might remember from a previous blog post. He is pretty happy about that.
If you are a teacher or work in the area of learning disabilities or a parent who has found a similar practical application of texting or typing for your LD kids, please drop me some comments @momsatwork on twitter. Otherwise, please leave me your feedback in the comments below.
I would love to hear from you.