Much has changed since we enjoyed the 1998 romantic comedy You’ve Got Mail starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Falling in love over the web is no longer unique. We no longer race to our computers if "mail call" rings or Eudora chimes. Educators have stopped discussing whether or not to give students email accounts on the district website; we now assume they have their own. It’s no longer, "Do you have an email?" It’s now, "Which account should I use when I write to you?" We’ve all got too much email. Without careful management, we can find ourselves confused and spending too much time sorting it all out.
A very tech-savvy and competent, organized person arrived at a meeting 2 hours late; an administrator sent out a message about a very interesting learning opportunity with a subject heading designating a long-past event; another person emailed a message with an ambiguous subject heading announcing an event that sounded like a scam. A distant colleague invited me to a social event, but in the rush to get the message out, she did not include the date of the event. Recalling these recent snafus and what often seems to be a communications breakdown in many institutions and organizations, it may be appropriate to address our overflowing email boxes here.
I have four accounts: one for my district job, one personal, and two for online teaching work at two universities. I love and use them all. If I don’t heed my own advice, email I send may be unwanted. What’s a busy educator to do? A few tips, along with a few illustrative anecdotes, follow.
Suggestions for Recipients
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