Tag Archives: sms

The decline of SMS

mobiletrains

In a recent Ofcom report, the decline of SMS was noted.

SMS use fell for the second consecutive year, from 129 billion messages in 2013 to 110 billion messages in 2014, largely due to increasing smartphone take-up and use of internet-based communications.

This move from SMS to other forms of internet based communication is partly the result of the increase in the number of people owning internet capable smartphones, also the increase in the use of 4G (making it faster to do so).

…during 2014, 4G subscriptions have leapt from 2.7 million to 23.6 million

In addition we are seeing an increase in the availability of wifi both on campus and in urban areas.

The decline may be happening, but SMS usage is still much higher than it was a few years ago, back in 2007 we sent 52 billion texts.

So what does this all tell us?

Well there are three things we should take away from this.

Firstly if you are already using SMS to support teaching and learning (or learner support) then keep doing so, the decline is there, but the use of SMS is very much embedded into the daily lives of many people and will continue for the next few years.

Secondly, note that the increasing smartphone take-up and use of internet-based communications, means that in addition to SMS you should be using internet-based communications as well.

Finally if you’re not using either SMS or internet-based communications, then planning for the future, the focus should be on internet-based communications and not that means to ignore SMS, but note that it is in decline and resources may be better placed elsewhere, as the growth in internet based comms will continue to replace SMS.

What this report demonstrates is how challenging it can be to keep pace with changes in technology, that some technologies come and go, and that sometimes you need to move fast to take advantage of technological advances before they become obsolete.

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hpE BDay tx

hpE BDay tx

Today the humble text message turns twenty. It was in 1992 that the first text message was sent an engineer from Vodafone, sent the message “Merry Christmas” from a PC to a mobile device using Vodafone’s UK network.

I don’t recall the first text message I sent, but it was one technology that I have never really taken advantage of. The average number of text messages sent per month is fifty, in November I sent twenty-five. I only really started sending text messages when I got my first iPhone. I think my problem was with predictive text or even understanding texting language. The advantage of the iPhone was a proper keyboard and not needing to try and use a numeric keypad. I could never get my head around the numeric keypad and did like and prefer the qwerty keyboard.

Still have that today when people send me texts, sometimes I have no idea what they are trying to say! I know, I know, I am getting old…

There are signs from Ofcom that the use of texting has peaked and is on a decline. However I suspect there are many colleges and universities out there which are not making the most of SMS and in many ways you could argue that they have missed the boat on this. Unless you are at the point of a mainstream rollout, I would say now is not the time to start researching or planning, or setting up a project on SMS texting. Still time to make the most of it with students perhaps in the classroom, but even then maybe using a different service would be a better idea.

Parents 'want texts from schools'

Parents 'want texts from schools'

BBC reports on the survey from Becta about how schools need to use e-mail and SMS to communicate more with parents.

Many parents would like school reports on their children’s performance texted or e-mailed, a survey says.

One in 12 of the 1,493 parents polled by government education technology agency Becta said schools kept them informed using these methods.

But 68% of parents said they wanted schools to use such technologies to keep them up to date more frequently.

Of course if schools are to take heed of this survey, then FE Colleges need to do likewise. Does your FE College already communicate to the students by e-mail and/or SMS text messaging? Can the students communicate back?

The latest street danger? Walking and texting

From the Guardian…

In case anyone reading this is one of the 68,000 individuals who apparently interfaced thus with street furniture in London last year (mostly resulting in cuts and bruises, but with a fair proportion of broken noses, cheekbones and one fractured skull in the mix too) and therefore is self-evidently stupid enough to need the problem further delineated, these are injuries caused by people who do not understand the importance of peripheral vision. Until, that is, they compromise it by texting as they walk along the street and into lampposts, signs, bollards and other pedestrians.

Read more.

The latest street danger? Walking and texting

Using Jaiku (or Twitter) for learning in a coffee shop

I demonstrated Jaiku at ALT-C and then sent a good hour out of session taking to a English Literature lecturer who was very interested in using Jaiku (or Twitter) to enhance a session on discussing a book.

The book was set in a cafe, and he wanted the students to go to a cafe and then post their observations and discuss the book whilst drinking in a cafe.

Using Jaiku (or Twitter) for learning in a coffee shop

Obviously you could do this face to face (difficult in a cafe to find enough chairs) likewise you could use a moodle discussion forum (such as this one), however one of the strengths of using something like Jaiku or Twitter was that the students wouldn’t need a wireless laptop, all they need is a phone capable of SMS and what student doesn’t have a phone these days?

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