Sunday, October 4, 2009

ALL TEXT MESSAGING capabilities for DOE account holders will be disabled

FY10 ACCOUNT CHANGES - ALL TEXT MESSAGING capabilities for DOE account holders will be disabled effective 7/15/09, “with the exception of the Parent Coordinators’ cell phones accounts”.

It was a NYCDOE policy decision to disable the text messaging feature from all DOE issued devices. The rational for the disabling this service is all devices provided are for DOE business related communication and this communication must be documented. It is the DOE position that communication thru text messaging is primarily for “personal use”.

Note: I originally posted this entry on July 17th, but it was Friday, October 2nd that this service was disabled on my NYC DOE cell phone.


  1. What about installing Google Talk on your devices so that you can use that to communicate by IM? Or are you blocked from installing apps as well?

  2. Lisa, installing an application is not an option for a number of reasons.

    1-Texting is being used to communicate with others who may not have an internet plan or capability on their phones, but rather simply a texting plan.
    2-The communication that we are using sms for goes beyond simply sending text messages. Search for cell phones on my blog or read about the work Liz Kolb (Toys to Tools author) is doing with cells and texting.
    3-Even if everyone could install a particular app on their phone, we are talking literally getting the message out to hundreds of thousands of people which is not practical and even if it was, whose to say once that has been completely, it too wouldn't be disabled?

    We already have a tool perfectly suited for this work and I am hoping the policy will be reversed at least for those who are using the feature in professional and/or educational ways.

  3. Do DOE phone users pay a portion of the monthly fee to use the phone for personal use? If so 9th District Circuit Court ruled on that issue about 10 months ago in favor of the employee.

  4. Anonymous, they do not, but I still think this is beside the point. I don’t think employee contribution to the payment should be a part of the issue as companies like the NYC DOE have unlimited texting and phone plans. Employees use all sorts of technologies provided to them both personally and professionally throughout the day and they shouldn’t be required to contribute because of the multiple purpose of tools like paper, pens, cameras, laptops, voice telephones, email, etc. etc. Trying to separate the personal and professional is not only becoming increasingly difficult, it is also a construct of the past industrial, agriculture, etc. ages when work and personal lives were separate. Fortunately, today, the lives of personal and professional are intertwined and we are using all sorts of tools to build our personal learning and interest networks. We can no longer pull the two apart nor should we.

  5. One step forward and two steps back. A very innovative and well thought out solution. The employees that you are trying to keep "inline" will find another way to goof off. The only people you hurt here are the good educators.

    Great job.

  6. I'm told that all the service providers have a free texting access by simply initiating it through your email as follows, but I haven't had success getting it to work:

    ATT- Example: [recipient 10-digit number: 123456789]

    Sprint/Nextel- Example: [recipient 10-digit number: 123456789]

    Verizon- Example: [recipient 10-digit number: 123456789]

  7. Text messaging is a tool used regularly to communicate in all aspects of life.

    In the arena of the workplace, I can see how it is much to the advantage for teachers and other faculty to keep be in touch instantly.

    When a common tool is removed the workplace sufferes two fold; productivity and organization are skewed, and resentment builds over the decision to revoke the use of that such tool.

    In today's world it is also necessary to share the same types of communication with family, as 78% of all families in the NYC are have both parents working.

    I see no good coming from this for the DOE, especially when it is a tool students use daily.

    I can see no good coming from this for anyone.