“How many of you remembered to bring your cell phone to class?” I asked rhetorically and saw all hands shoot up. “Excellent, let’s get started then!”

I fired up my PowerPoint, which was preloaded with text message (SMS) polls, an audience response system that uses mobile technology to display answers in real-time. It works like this:

  1. I ask questions
  2. The student’s text answers
  3. Real-time results are displayed on the big screen in front of the room

The next thing I knew everybody was on their phone. Text questions from students, verbal ones too, were continuously populating the screen! The one I liked the most, “What financial lessons would you teach your younger self?” Taking a moment to pause I said, “Saving for retirement and negotiating for starters. But I’ll tell you what, we’ll write about it!”

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