Saturday, March 13, 2010

TextServ - Using Your Email to Text Students

One of the final sessions that I attended at KySTE on Friday was about TextServ (this was the name created by Ryan McQuerry, the presenter).  It is actually a very simple procedure.  The most difficult part is getting your student's cell phone numbers and their carrier provider.  The next and most tedious step is creating a distribution list for each class, club, or team that you coach..  Once you have does those steps, then you can worry about actually sending an email text.

My carrier is AT&T, so I will be using them as an example.  All you do is enter the phone number with the following information for the email address: 8005551122@txt.att.net.  Type that in the "To:" box.  It will then send your email as a text.  It is important to remember that you are limited to 160 characters or your students get two text messages if you go over that.  Standard Rates for text messaging will apply to your students, so it is important to make sure that mommy and daddy don't mind.  It is also important to remember that if you have a signature in your email that you need delete that because it will be included in the message.

What is great about this aspect of contacting your students is that you have documentation if they were to reply, and what is also great is that the reply goes to your email, not to a phone.  Another great aspect is that the students will not have access to your personal cell phone number.  It is important that you discuss using this method to contact your students with your CIO and principal.

This would be a great way for you to keep in touch with your students and remind them about events, clubs and organization meetings, as well as stay in contact with a team you are coaching.  It would also be a great addition to your classroom to remind students about their homework assignments, a test or project coming up, or even that they have a presentation to be ready for.

Here are some other email addresses for other cell phone carriers:
Cell#@email.uscc.net - U.S. Cellular
Cell#@messaging.sprintpcs.com - Sprint PCS
Cell#@tmomail.net - T-Mobile
Cell#@vtext.com - Verizon
Cell#@vmobl.com - Virgin Mobile
Cell#@messaging.nextel.com - Nextel
Cell#@myboostmobile.com - Boost Mobile
Cell#@message.alltel.com - Alltel Wireless
Cell#@txt.att.net - AT&T/Cingular Wireless


If you don't see your wireless carrier on this list, just search for it, or contact the company.  Most companies should have this option in order to be able to compete.

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