Students have been passing notes in class for decades, so what's the big deal about sending a quick text message? Everybody does it, even your teacher was surely guilty of covertly communicating with his or her peers back when they were in high school.
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But the trick here is—and always has been—to not get caught. The rules of the game may have changed with a bit of added technology now in the mix, but the fundamentals remain the same. So if you need to shoot your friend a quick text or you just can't pass up a chance for an epic Snapchat message, I'll show you a few methods for actually getting away with it.
If you're going to be texting back and forth, everybody in the room will hear your phone if it's set to vibrate, and most ringtones are just way too obvious. But you've got the benefit of youth on your side, which means your eardrums can still detect some sound frequencies that adults like your teacher have become entirely deaf to over the years.
In general, adults can hear sound frequencies ranging from 0.2 kilohertz up to 16 kHz—but high school students may be able to hear frequencies as high as 20 kHz. This means that if you set your phone's ringtone to a sound in this 16-20 kHz sweet spot, you'll hear the new message, but your teacher will be clueless. To be on the safe side, we've picked a ringtone just outside of the adult hearing range at 16.7 kHz, which you can download below.
Once you've set the 16.7 kHz ringtone as your default notification sound, you'll be golden. But keep in mind that if you're texting a friend who's also in class, it might be a good idea to set them up with the same ringtone so they don't get busted either.
As a student, taking notes is a part of your job description. No teacher would ever second guess your intentions if they spotted you with a pen in hand, seemingly scribbling away in a notebook or binder. So when it comes time to actually write up a text message, lay your phone flat on a notebook and keep some inconspicuous classroom materials in between your phone and your teacher to obscure her view, then bust out a stylus to type out your message.
You'll look like you're jotting down notes, which should keep you off the teacher's radar for a while and buy you enough time to send a few messages. But for an extra layer of realism, try Google's Handwriting Input keyboard, which converts written words into text, and will look a lot more like you're writing if the teacher gives you a glance.
If you don't have a stylus handy, you can still use this trick by creating your own out of a pen and a cotton swab. This even comes with the added bonus of your stylus actually being a pen, which makes it all the more authentic. To try it out, check out Nelson's guide below.
No matter how fast you are with your thumbs, it's the process of actually writing out your text message that leaves you vulnerable to getting caught more than anything. So in a nod to the ancient times of passing handwritten notes, try actually writing your message on a piece of paper, then sending a picture of this message over MMS.
You can take your sweet time while writing the message, because your teacher will just think you're taking notes. When you're done writing it out, take your phone out and open the camera app, then wait for the perfect time to snap a pic of the message. From here, it's just a matter of waiting on your teacher to turn her back, at which point you can quickly share the picture message over MMS.
Pretend you're a teacher. Say you're writing on the chalkboard and you turn around to check on your class with a quick glance—which students would you focus on? The ones that are looking up intently waiting on you to finish your sentence, or the ones with their faces buried in their laps? And no, hiding your phone behind a propped-up book isn't inconspicuous either, it's your eyes that betray you.
If the stylus or picture tricks are out of the question and you absolutely have to text the old-fashioned way, you'll need to become a master in the art of the misdirect. Keep your eyes where you want your teacher to think your attention is (hint: not on your phone), and do your best to text blindly. If you'd like to get some practice in, try using one of SwiftKey's blank keyboards for a while, and soon you'll be able to text like a ninja.
Do you have any other classroom texting tips that you'd like to share? If so, let us know in the comment section below, or drop us a line on Android Hacks' Facebook or Twitter, or Gadget Hacks' Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.