FrontlineSMS grew out of a conviction that mobile could be a more powerful tool if it was made completely accessible to smaller teams and projects as a professional tool. Also known as text messaging, SMS is the most widespread digital communications platform to date and is still growing. The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Service Adoption Forecast predicts that 90% of global mobile subscribers will be using SMS by 2016, up from 74% in 2011.
Even though we all know the statistics showing the tremendous growth of mobile and smartphone usage, I continue to be amazed by the impact this technology is making for the most disconnected societies.
I am particularly interested in the use of mobile applications for social entrepreneurship. By using basic SMS communications communities have been able to educate and reach many more people than traditional tactics.
Across the education landscape, student text messaging is a bone of contention among teachers. It’s not an issue in the lower grades because most K-5 schools successfully ban cell phones during school hours. Where it’s a problem is within grades 6-12, when teachers realize it’s a losing battle to separate students from their phones for eight hours.
The overarching discussion among educators is texting’s utility in providing authentic experiences to students, the type that transfer learning from the classroom to real life. Today, I’ll focus on a piece of that: Does text messaging contribute to shortening student attention span or destroying their nascent writing ability.
It’s been over three months since we started our guest columnist series around the VNI Service Adoption research. This research forecasts the end user adoption rate for 20+ telecommunication services such as SMS, mobile banking, online gaming, location-based services, and various types of video conferencing.
Our goal is to explore how the use of technology, and specifically telecom services, impact people’s lives and communities worldwide. Technology is an enabler, the cool gadgets and networks and shiny objects are not necessarily meaningful on their own. It takes intelligence and creativity of many people to bring it to fruition and provide a context which empowers individuals to dream of achieving bigger outcomes.
The other day I took my one year old son on his first train ride. I knew that he would enjoy the short trip (just a couple of stops and back) and I wanted him to get the feeling of riding a train. While on the train I noticed a teenager text messaging on a phone.
I smiled to myself, thinking that here’s a teenager holding a Smartphone in hand on a train with a modern Wi-Fi enabled network with 3G coverage, and yet she’s still communicating via a 30 year old technology.