New York’s Chester School District is one of several districts that are taking bold steps in the use of new media technology in classrooms, reports the Times Herald-Record. Chester Middle School Principal Ernie Jackson, for instance, challenged reading and social studies teacher Mel Wesenberg to find ways to use text messaging to teach poetry. The results were surprising: Kids who used their cell phones to boil down the main points of the stanzas got 80 percent of the questions about a poem correct on a state test. Kids taught the same poem in the traditional way—reading, reciting, and discussing—got only 40 percent of the questions right. “That’s a big jump,” Jackson said during a recent demonstration of the experiment with a sixth-grade class…

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