Educational Technology

Email Dead, or Just Resting?

A recent article at CNET details teen preferences for communication tools such as text messaging, Facebook and MySpace. Not surprisingly, most of the teens interviewed stated that they don’t bother with email unless communicating with adults. The primary method of connecting with friends and partners is social networking sites. What’s most interesting to note is that the kids interviewed were teen Internet entrepreneurs; many of whom have already established popular online networks and business projects. From the article:

“If I’m talking to any friends it’s through a social network,” said Asheem Badshah, a teenaged president of, an essay-sharing site that launched this summer. “For me even IM died, and was replaced by text messaging. Facebook will replace e-mail for communicating with certain people.”

I think this article make an important points for educators: We need to be mindful of how our students view the web as a living social institution. While many of our are still trying to wrap our heads around the sheer volume of online “electric” print and “old-school” email communications, our students are engaged, full-tilt, in a social communication revolution where they are in the driver’s seat. What do you think? Is email dead, or just resting? Comments?

2 replies on “Email Dead, or Just Resting?”

Text messaging is something I think about often when I engage my grade 8 students in an online Forum project with students in a remote location. Being an educator, I try to hone writing skills as I teach my students effective online communication skills. I present my students with businesslike netiquette guidelines which, among other things, means that they are required to post messages using correctly spelled words and full sentence structures. I encourage my students to distinguish between social texting and business communication. Just as there are some differences between conversational English and formal, written English.
But, every time I present this project to my students, I wonder… What will they consider appropriate, effective business communication when they are the leaders of tomorrow? I might be very surprised.
My opinion … I think email is resting and evolving.

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