Students' cell phones can be effective, low-cost teaching tools, according to one expert, who suggests several ways that even basic phones can be used in the classroom. Websites such as www.PollEverywhere.com allow students to text answers to determine whether they are ready for new material. One California teacher says she asks her students to write via text message. "Before, it was difficult getting them to write," the teacher said. "But now when I ask them to compose back stories or give advice to conflicted literary characters, they're into it."

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