User Generated Education

Education as it should be – passion-based.

A Texting Communications Exercise

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This is part of a continued series of blogs in which I reporting about and describing how I am adapting more tradition team building, communications, and problem-solving to include learners’ own mobile devices.

Part 1

This activity is an adaptation of the Back-to-Back Communications Exercise.  Students found a partner.  One volunteered to give the directions, the other to be the drawer.  They exchanged phone numbers and the drawers went to another room.  The direction givers were provided with the following drawing and told to text in words (one student asked if he could send a picture) the description of the drawing.  The goal was for the drawer to reproduce the drawing to scale.

Part 2

Students then met face-to-face to complete the exercise again using a second picture.


After the two exercises, a discussion was facilitated that centered around two questions:

  1. Which of the two exercises produced the best results – where the original and reproduced images best replicated each other?
  2. Which of the two exercises did you prefer?

For the first question, the results were split with about half saying the texting produced the best results and the other half stating it was the face-to-face directions.  Those who selected texting described the ability to read through the directions several times to insure correctness.  Those who believed face-to-face produced better results described the use of body gestures to assist with the results.

For the second question, all but one student preferred the face-to-face . . . and all but one student is of the texting generation (18-20 years old).

Written by Jackie Gerstein, Ed.D.

November 11, 2011 at 3:17 pm

One Response

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  1. I used this activity with ESL University students I work with in Korea. We used this program that is VERY popular in Korea on smartphones (iOS & Android). Great idea.


    December 20, 2011 at 1:42 pm

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