Online communication include faxes, instant messages, blogs, and email. Of the four, email is the most popular—so popular, it has transformed the way the world communicates. According to the Radicati Group, in 2008, 1.3 billion people had email accounts and sent 210 billion messages daily.
Why so popular? First, email is paperless, appealing to our global need to conserve resources. On a more basic level, email is a faster alternative to most other forms of communication by combining the telephone’s speed and efficiency with a user’s need to transfer files and documents. Email has no time or place barriers. You can write and respond (with an amazing level of anonymity) whenever you choose – day or night with multiple contacts, keeping many people in the loop with the click of a few keys. And, email is stored and retrieved quickly at almost no cost. (more…)
Social networks dominated by Facebook now account for 22.7 percent of the hours spent in front of a computer, a leap of 43 percent over last year’s figures.
According to the Neilson Co. report, the shift to social networks for communication caused a precipitous drop in email and instant messaging. Time spent emailing was down 28 percent and instant messaging dropped 15 percent.
If you don’t know what all the social networking stuff is, check out these two YouTube videos. They explain social networking in Plain English.
The question for schools is, how much of this should be let into the education environment. It’s way beyond the internet now. We’re talking about:
- internet access to email
These are all banned at my school. Yet, these are the sites that have kids excited about learning–excited about technology. So what are we doing? We’re cutting off the most effective avenue for keeping students interested in school because we’re afraid of them. (more…)