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A new startup out of Portland, Oregon (Celly) offers something which is text messaging with a twist—group text messaging. Quite simply it means that anyone can create or join a group by sending a text to C-E-L-L-Y (2-3-5-5-9). And it’s totally free. So back to the classroom. Instead of ‘battling’ against the wave of text messaging and thinking of it as a ‘bad’ thing, maybe we can use it.
So for example in a classroom a teacher could use a group text messaging service like Celly to take polls, quizzes, get updates, take notes, organize group study or even have a contest. Because group messaging doesn’t require a ‘fancy’ smart phone, everyone can participate.
And the Celly system gets around certain issues (like privacy) which are obviously a top priority for teachers and students alike. When you group message via Celly, no one has to share their phone numbers.
Groups or ‘cells’ all have unique names and the teacher/students can decide if they will be private or public. The groups can also be moderated which means the administrator (normally the teacher) will approve each message or they can be ‘alert-only’ which means only the administrator can message group members.
Small groups can use the Celly system for study groups, classes can use it for discussions and entire schools can use it for important alerts. Being a bit more advanced, the ‘cells’ can also be used to organize content so a classroom could get updates when a special blog created for them was updated. In sum, the Celly system can be used to send messages home from school, send messages between students, between students and their teacher as well as to monitor relevant news and information.
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