text messaging . . . could it have helped VA Tech


I saw this article, "Could cell text alert have helped at VA Tech?" and thought it interesting that it wove together both topics we talked about in class the other day.

I do have to agree with schools like Penn State (which has issued about 20 emergency text alerts since last August, for things like power outages, snow storm warnings, and hazardous material spills) that texting college kids is THE best way to get warn of a crisis.

I think this is a good idea, but ONLY if texts sent from the school were only about legitimate, serious emergencies. What do you guys think?

While I was at the gym, it occurred to me: this, at last, is the perfect use for Twitter. A school establishes a school-wide Twitter group, that all students, faculty, staff, etc are members of, via their cell phones. The group is only used by college officials, for emergency purposes. In the event of emergency, the Twitter group is notified....

I think your idea would be a really good use of new technology . . . and all without feeding too much paranoia and frenzy, because the information about the emergency would be contained within the network of the school community, and messages would only be sent out in EXTREMELY hazardous events.

Hmmm, I wonder if we should propose doing something like this at Pomona?

Definitely a good idea, but it should not be relied upon, but simply used in conjunction with all the current means of notifying people. While I religiously keep my phone on me at all times, many students don't. It's also important to avoid overuse. Almost all phone plans make the recipient of texts pay just as much as the sender. This may sound trite, but I don't want to be charged 15¢ everytime some guy at Pitzer looked kind of suspicious.

Good point. I'm thinking only genuine emergencies. As in "lock your doors and stay inside." Not as in "be careful out there"...

Now I see what ColoradoGirl meant in class when she mentioned how startling it was to see a professor logged onto Sakai.

I post a comment...and see a response from the prof a couple minutes later.


enough said. (sorry KF)