I was eating lunch and scrolling through my twitter feed when I ran across a post from Huffington Post College about this study from the University of New Hampshire on texting in class. It seems that students feel guilty about texting in class, but go ahead and text anyway.
There is no doubt that texting is a modern form of communication that allows quick silent communication between friends and family members. I text, my friends text, and some of my colleagues text. My texting is probably just like those texts of my students. I've texted about setting up meetings or social gatherings. I've texted informal or funny notes to friends and family. I've even texted from boring meetings to friends saying I was in a boring meeting. I would imagine this last text is typically what students are sending from my classes (lol).
I am not a huge fan of texting in class, but it doesn't bother me as much as some of my other colleagues. In some instances, it can be distracting when it is done obviously or repeatedly. Students who text continuously in my classes are asked to stop texting if it starts to bother me or others around them. It is surprising how many students are irritated by fellow students who are serial texters.
Generally, I find that the more mature students do not text that much and the more immature students text quite a bit. There are some who text often due to family issues (daycare, car issues, etc.) that fall out of this model. I typically could care less if someone receives or sends texts during class if they do not do it that often of if they are not bothering others around them.
The world is more and more online and digital and I think that texting is one of the things that comes along with this change. Access to quick silent communication is a cultural development that makes me : )