George Lucas Educational Foundation
Social and Emotional Learning

My Student Network: An Innovative Use of Text Messaging

June 5, 2006

I drive a sporty little two-seater convertible to school. One day last semester, someone broke into it and stole my little blue iPod mini, which has "IM8X10" engraved on the back. I called the campus police to report the theft and got their answering machine.

Because I text message all my students, I sent out a massive broadcast, telling everyone what had happened and how to identify the iPod if they ran across it. That was Tuesday at 2 P.M.

The next day, at 10 A.M., a student came into my classroom and handed me the iPod, in perfect condition. He said a friend of his, who didn't know it was mine, had taken it. He added that his friend had gotten scared, because it seemed like everyone in the whole school was looking for the iPod.

My wife thinks it was returned because of my taste in music -- one listen and the thief was repelled -- but I tend to think it was the network. That's power.

BTW, I'm still waiting for the campus police to return my call.

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