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The Pew Research Center released new data this week on Americans' text-messaging habits.

According to Pew, 83 percent of American adults now own cell phones and almost three-quarters (73 percent) send and receive text messages.

The research only looks at adults' usage of text-messaging, but it does find that younger adults are much more active texters than older age groups.

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That's compared to about 41.5 messages a day for all cellphone owners, a figure that's largely unchanged from figures reported in 2010.The Pew study doesn't look at the texting habits of those under age 18, but a study released last year by Nielsen found that those cellphone users in the 13 to 17 age range were the most avid texters among any age group.According to this 2010 Nielsen data, people 18 to 24 sent an average of 1630 texts per month -- about half the number Pew says this group currently sends.And that Nielsen report pegged the texting rate of 13 to 17 year olds at 3339 per month -- approximately what 18 to 24 year olds are now sending and receiving.One might wonder: does the texting rate of 13 to 17 year olds continue to be twice that?

Certainly that age group -- in fact, all those under 18 -- are increasingly likely to be cellphone owners.According to those surveyed as part of Project Tomorrow's 2010 Speak Up report (PDF), more than half of middle and high school students (51 percent and 56 percent respectively) own a cell phone (without Internet access). Allow them to be used, at teachers' discretion, in class?In addition, 34 percent of middle schoolers and 44 percent of high schoolers own a smart phone. The reasons why cellphones are banned are, interestingly enough, many of the same things that make cellphones a potentially very useful educational tool: cellphones, particularly smart phones, are powerful mobile computing devices.With the ubiquity of cellphones, many schools are facing questions about what to do when students bring cellphones to school. If the cellphones have Internet access, students can use them to look up information online. And unlike i Pads, e-readers, tablets, smart phones, laptops or desktop PCs, these devices are ubiquitous.Moreover, as the statistics indicate, text-messaging seems to be the preferred method of communication of teens.The popularity of text-messaging has long been given as one of the main reasons why cellphones are a distraction in the classroom.