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Using Text Messaging to communicate with your students from your email!

Right now there is a bit of a disconnect between the world of cell phones and computers. For some students text messaging is now a fully integrated mode of communication. For others who text messaging is foreign and email is the prefered way to send text. Well here is some technology that bridges the gap between these two very vital modes of communicating.

Solution: A Text to Email Gateway!
All phone service providers, Verizon, ATT, TMobile etc. have a text to email gateway. This allows you as the teacher to compose assignments or materials for distribution to your students on your computer. So when you send an email to:

<student phone #> @ <textgateway.com>

A list of providers with their gateway addresses are below

This will automatically get sent as a text message to the student's phone. At the bottom of this email are the addresses of the text to email gateways for most of the popular cell phone providers.

All you need to know how do to is, collect all your student's cell phone numbers and their service providers name and turn that number into an email address, then create a "Group" in your email program. For those who don't have cell phone but have a computer at home with internet you can just add their email addresses. Note: most systems have a 160 character limit for each message!

Below are some Ideas for using this mode of communication with your students:

Using Text Messaging to Teach ESL Tips

source: http://www.ehow.com/how_4995209_use-text-messaging-teach-esl.html

1. Create your own word-of-the-day service. Send your students one new word every day. Make the word meaningful, not random. Relate the words to the current lesson plan. For example, if the current lesson is about weather, send weather-related words or phrases.

2. Text message grammar tips. Have your students text you back about their day using that grammar tip.

3. Text message conversational tips. For example, if your students work in restaurants, text message them phrases that they can use at work.

4. Have your students text you messages using the word-for-the-day. Texting is a good way to encourage students to begin writing.

5. Introduce text messaging casually. It is just one tool for teaching. Make it meaningful and you and your students will learn and have fun.


AT&T (formerly Cingular) <number>@txt.att.net or <number>@mms.att.net (MMS)

Boost Mobile <number>@myboostmobile.com

Nextel (now Sprint Nextel) <number>@messaging.nextel.com

Sprint PCS (now Sprint Nextel) - <number>@messaging.sprintpcs.com or <number>@pm.sprint.com (MMS)

T-Mobile - <number>@tmomail.net

US Cellular – <number>@email.uscc.net (SMS) or <number>@mms.uscc.net (MMS)

Verizon - <number>@vtext.com or <number>@vzwpix.com (MMS)

Virgin Mobile USA - <number>@vmobl.com

MetroPCS <number>@mymetropcs.com

Cingular (Prepaid) <number>@cingularme.com