WhatsApp and Homework

Talking about school and, especially, informing each other about homework and assignments on WhatsApp has become increasingly popular among Austrian students. This is what a Viennese teacher writes:


by Bernhard Gmeiner

February 26

Here is something I do not understand. Students choosing not to jot down homework assignments in class and completely relying on social media channels like WhatsApp to inform oneself about what is to be done until the next lesson.

Why would you do that? Why wouldn’t you just make notes about what teachers instruct you to do in class? Mark down what you’re supposed to do and you’re good to go….You wouldn’t actually have to rely on colleagues about your performance at school.

Many pupils tell me that on an average day they receive more than a hundred WhatsApp messages. How is it even possible, then, to separate the pointless from the potentially valuable?

What is it like in your class? Do you also see the dangers of social media or do you completely disagree with my points?


You have decided to comment on this blog post. In your blog comment you should:

  • describe the situation in regards to homework and WhatsApp in your class
  • suggest advantages and disadvantages of social media for students
  • discuss if schools are responsible for teaching pupils about how to use social media platforms properly

12 Antworten zu “WhatsApp and Homework

  1. by Raphael Dohnalek
    March 5th

    Hello Bernhard Gmeiner, I have just seen your Blog entry about “social media and homework” and I would like to comment on your thoughts about this whole topic.

    First, I would like to say something about the “why don’t you just take notes about the homework”. It is very often the fault of the teachers, they should tell the students the homework at the perfect time. Not too early and not too late, I would say about ten to five minutes before the lesson ends. If he or she writes down the exercise too late, only a few will notice it.

    That’s why many students ask their classmates about what the homework was that they had to do. It is a big advantage for people that are lazy or just forget a few times to write down the exercises. We have a class WhatsApp group where we discuss things about school and ask what homework was. It is handy and nice to have such a group.

    I think it is a good way to use WhatsApp and so on and you learn while you are growing up, how everything works. I also think that pupils should be teached in lower secondary, what they can write on the internet and what they cannot.

    These are my thoughts about this topic, I hope it helped you to understand a few positive sides of social media for students.

  2. by Nora Nitsch
    March 5th
    Hello Bernhard Gmeiner, I´ve just seen your blog about “ Whatsapp and homework“ and I´d like to show you my point of view.

    Usually I write everything down on my little notebook and I´m the one, who tells somebody what to do, but if a teacher tells us the homework after the bell has rung, I have two options. First: I don´t write it down and ask someone afterwards and I dont´t have to hurry to the next class. Second: I write erverything down and have to hurry to the next class and probably come too late. So, what would you choose? Another point is that teachers are often too fast and noboday can write it down proberly.

    In our class we have a Whatsappgroup for this and it works pretty well. Every time at least one knows what the homwork is and I don´t think it´s bad to have such groups. Probably you shouldn´t rely on your clasmates if it is something really important, but using social media for homework isn´t really bad or is it?

    Teaching students how to use social media platforms is good, but not necessary. If you´re nice, you know that you should not insult other people and if you´re mean, teaching you to be nice on social media platforms won´t help much and in case you have common sense, you know what you can post.

    This are my thoughts about this topic and I´m really looking forward to hearing what you think about my ideas.

  3. WhatsApp and Homework

    Hannah Mensing
    5.3.2017

    Dear professor Gmeiner, I have just read your blog post about WhatsApp and Homework. With some points I agree, with some I don´t and to some I want to add some words to it.

    Nowadays social media, WhatsApp and similar platforms take a big place in our lifes.
    I can see your points about homework and being organized, but sometimes when you were sick or just forgot to write it down, the fastest an easiest thing to do would be to ask in a group, so you do not have to wait for the one person to recognize and react, the first person who knows the answer can tell the whole class. So with only one text you can even help more than one person.
    Even though it makes it a bit easier for students, some play on this advantage and do not make notes at all. That is unconducive for everyone.
    All in all, I think students should know theirselves how they organize their lives. If they start early to write important things down, they will not have the troubles later while university or the career.

    about 160 words

  4. by Eveline Andrici
    March 5th

    Hello Bernhard Gmeiner, I have just read your Blog entry about „social media related to homework“ and I want to share my thoughts about this topic with you.

    More than 40% of my classmates are too lazy to take notes about the homework we get from the teacher. Sometimes it is really annoying to get 50 messages from people who ask what/ how much homework we have until tomorrow. But otherwise I remeber sometimes in the last moments through their questions that we have homework until tomorrow eventhough I noticed it in my book.

    From this point of view it is an advantage to have a class group on WhatsApp. Sometimes it’s also the teachers fault because they write it too late on the blackboard. Five minutes before the lesson ends would be perfect. Also if someone has troubles with the homework, than he/she has the possibility to ask in the class group.

    I think that parents are responsible for their children and their safety.
    So parents have to decide when their children are aloud to use social media platforms and so on and not schools.

    These were my thoughts about this topic and I hope you can understand a few positive aspects of using social media from students.

  5. by Melii

    March 5

    Hi Bernhard Gmeiner, I have just seen your blog and found it really interesting to read your thoughts about WhatsApp among students.

    In my class ask everybody one time “What should we do until tomorrow?” or something like that. But often it is because the teachers fault. They tell us our exercise sometime in the lesson without write it down or they write it down after the bell rings.

    Social media for students a big advantage because they can ask other pupils every time everything. Moreover, they can discuss about school and problems in class.

    I think schools are responsible for teaching pupils about “how to use social media platforms”. Students spend so much time in school… Where else should they learn about it?

    These were my thoughts about WhatsApp among students and I’m looking forward to hearing what you think about my thoughts.

  6. Hello Mister Gmeiner, I’ve just read your blog entry about the use of social media in regards of school and especially homework, so I wanted to tell you about my thoughts on that topic.

    I am very likely to ask about homework in our whatsapp class group, because of that it was really interesting to hear what you think. It’s not the problem to write down homework if you have some little remind-blog or something like that,but I dont posses such a thing. And in many ways it is easier to ask someone,than carrying some notepad. Many of us are permanently on their mobile so it’s easier than writing everything down on a sheet of paper. Although no one writes it down in a block it doesen’t mean no one types it in his/her phone. So I think it’s pointless writing it down in a notepad „someone other will do it for you“.

    Like I said before those apps can be a time saver. But you have try focusing on work and not on your phone so it has good and bad things. Whatsapp or other social media is very helpfull for students who get sick and need to do stuff at home.But there is always the dangerous part of starting to write and forgetting homework or something like that.

    If the school wants to show us how to use social media properly doesen’t bother me much. I don’t think I have a lack of information in social media usage so I am going to be good. And I also don’t think that the other pupils haven’t learned how it works yet.So I hope you understand my thoughts and I hope you anwser me or at least read my comment.

  7. March 5th
    Hi Bernhard Gmeiner, I’ve just came across your blog entry about Whatsapp and homework and I think as a student myself I could explain that a little bit.

    In our class we use Whatsapp a lot regarding school. We have a class group, which is very useful. It is not all about “What’s the homework?“, it’s a way how students can communicate about school things while their out of school.
    I personally think that social medias like Whatsapp have a lot of advantages for students, like mentioned earlier it is a great way to communicate. Of course it could also be used for negative things, such as bullying or spreading evil messages, but to be honest that is a problem that can happen everywhere.
    However it happens, so should young people learn in school or somewhere else how to use social media. They do, well not directly, but children already learn in kindergarten how to act around other people and how to treat them. A smart person should know that all these rules also count in the world of social media.

    These were may thoughts and ideas, I hope I could explain you that a little bit. I’m looking forward to hear comments about my thougts.

  8. by Michael T. Frühwirth
    March 5th

    Hello Bernhard Gmeiner,
    I read your blog post and decided to respond to your post. I will talk about the situation with WhatsApp in my class, the advantages or disadvantages of social media for students and if the school should teach the pupils how to use social media.

    We have a class group on WhatsApp. There we write about the homework for tomorrow or the current topics about the school. There is one negative thing in the group: Sometimes there are 200 messages the day, but if you need something for a subject, you won’t get an answer.
    An advantage of social media for students is that they can ask their colleagues if they don’t know something. But a big disadvantage is that you are so mesmerized to your phone that you can’t begin with your homework or to learn for a test.
    I think no school has to teach the pupils about social media, because it is their privacy and they can do what they want to do. If the don’t learn for a test it is their own fault.

    If you have other views to this topic, leave a comment!

    • Hey Michi, I just saw your post and I find it really interesting.

      The first thing is about the whatsapp group. I totally understand how you feel. It is very annoying when you didn’t check the whatsapp group for an hour and then there are like 100-300 messages. And when you need something really bad there i no one answering although everyone read it.The next point is the phone addiction. Probably everyone has a slight phone obsession. But you choose this way so you have to bear the consequences. And to the last one I wanted to stay that I think that you haven’t understood what was questioned. I think the question was if the school should teach us how use whatsapp or similar things properly and not if they should intervene with our social surrounding.So that were my thoughts about the topic and I hope hearing from you soon 😀

  9. by Marcel Haitzer
    March 5th

    Hello Bernhard Gmeiner,
    I have just read your Blog entry about „WhatsApp and homework“ and I like to share my thoughts with you.

    In my class there is no day where nobody ask for the homework. But that is definitely the teacher`s fault. Because a lot of teachers write the homework down after the bell rings. But for that problems we have a class-group in their we can ask our class-mates for the homework

    The biggest advantage of social media for students is, that they can ask their colleagues if they need help with something for school. But a disadvantage is that the phone vibrates every twenty minutes, because somebody needs the homework or something like that.

    In my opinion it is very important if schools teach pupils about social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram because they often do not know the risks about it. If you do not use those platforms carefully you can get problems in your future life.

    I wish that our school takes us about the dangers about internet platforms.

  10. Hello Bernhard 👋🏼
    I saw you blog about homework and whatsapp and I understand your situation . Maybe I can help you with my point of view

    In my class we have a whatsapp group where we can swap information about school topics or other things.
    Sometimes colleagues are asking about the last homework. It is their decision to do not the homework and I accept that. But I believe this people will get later into big trouble because, there will not always be a homework you can write off. Maybe that’s the calm from a pupil .And Often you get no response from your classmates, that’s annoying .

    Whatsapp and other social media platforms have many advantages and disadvantages.
    One advantage from a whatsapp group is that you can communicate with your friends and classmates out of school and ask them if they can help you.
    The main disadvantage is that you can send correct and completed homeworks to other pupils. I think this behavior will revenge back

    I think the school isn’t responsible for teaching you how to use social network. Online acting is obviously, don’t bully ,be friendly and polite. Everybody should know how to behave on social platforms. Even in kindergarden you begin to know how to treat other people…

    Hope I could help you 😉

  11. By Helena Ottner
    March 7th
    Hello Bernhard Gmeiner, I´ve just seen your blog entry about “social media and homeworks” and I would like to explain to you, why my opinion is not very similar to yours.
    Why wouldn´t you do that? First, many people are writing down the homework and asking their classmates on WatsApp to make sure they got the right informations- and you can´t tell me, a second security is not good.
    Second, yes, all people who do this know, that they are a bit dependant of their classsmates, and if they couldn´t see the right message on the storm of hundrets (which is absolutely true! That´s really a problem in class-WatsApp-groups) of messages, they have to blame themselves. But if you know which homework you are searching for, you can use the searching filter on WatsApp and you find the right message within seconds.
    And also I think maybe not conscious, but unconsciously they are increasing the class-community, because they have to rely on each other and this is just the same technique as every group-strengthening-activity does. It´s very likely to that situation in our class and I think teachers should support that, instead of writing blog entries against it. Because as you see the online medias are all in all in this case very helpful for students and indirectly for teachers too, because they might get more homeworks.
    This is my opinion, I hope you enjoyed it and maybe tell me your opinion on my thoughts.

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