Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Digital Communication

Essential Questions

  • Do I use email, cell phone and instant messaging technologies appropriately when communicating with others?
  • What rules, options, and etiquette do students need to be aware of when using digital communication technologies?


  1. Personally I don't think I use e.mail, cell phone, and instant messaging technologies appropriately all the time. Sometimes I will send e.mails out that I may think are appropriate, but those that receive them may not. You never know how someone will interpret something you write. I always get confused on when it is appropriate to BCC someone (is it ever really appropriate?), and sometimes I use instant messaging/text messaging as my only way of communication. Thinking about students communication, I know how to communicate with other teachers/faculty about students on e.mail. BUT, I am not so sure on the restrictions when talking to parents regarding their student through e.mail.

    Students need to know that:
    - they can't use cell phone when in class (helps to avoid cheating, distractions, etc.)
    - when to use and not use short hand (ttfn, LOL, etc.)
    I don't have students submit work online, so my problem isn't as bad. But sometimes my students will e.mail me and it's my job to help form and build their online etiquette.

  2. I think that I am pretty good about using email correctly. I think that for the most part teachers and parents are good about writing appropriate emails but we are losing touch with the correct letter writing format with just short hand writing. I also think that student privacy is always something we need to be reminded about. As for cell phones, I don't really see an issue with students use of cell phones since I'm kindergarten. In school, my students think that my phone is used mostly to set timers and tell time. I have a problem with my cell phone while driving. I think that many people have cell phone addiction. I have a 18 year old stepson who will instant message me and I have NO idea what he is saying. He uses so many short hand messages that I struggle to figure them out. I need to look some up on the computer. I don't think that this is okay and we should teach the use of long hand for any message.

    Students need to know that anyone can read their writing and that it should be appropriate for their mothers and little brothers and sisters. They should also know when and where using these technologies are appropriate.

  3. First of all, Yolanda brings up such a great point about the way students AND adults choose to communicate through informal forms such as texting or IMing. They are fantastic resources but the acronyms, slang, symbols etc make reading the message challenging. As with most things, there is a time and place for everything and I am teaching my students when they write on my blog that it may be informal but it is still academic. Know you audience!

    In terms of most forms of communication, I think I am doing alright but I am still working on email. The meaning of writing is often interpreted much differently than it was intended, which is very frustrating. I habitually respond to emails or start them when I'm upset and unwillingly (or something willingly) they become rather aggressive. I am trying to work on that.
    Jessica- about BCC- it is appropriate in situations where you are emailing several parents or students about an event for example and want to protect their privacy by not displaying the email addresses.

    Using technology such as blogs and emailing in class is effective and appropriately but students need to distinguish between appropriate, academic writing and the type of writing that might be appropriate with friends.

  4. Do I use email, cell phone and instant messaging technologies appropriately when communicating with others?

    I think I try and for the most part do well in use and modeling. Intersting that texting shorthand and writing format is an issue. I have not seen it yet in student writing, although I am very clear about classroom norm is 6 traits. I also think that everything evolves and some of that may creep in, but it is a reflection of the society. I am not sold it is a horrible thing. Obviously, not appropriate for research, a report or job application yet blogs are a new format - who says we have to follow standard writing conventions? Today it seems to be quick sniblets of information. Word choice is huge! Again I iterate various writing formats for various purposes, if all writing were meant to be conveyed in the same manner we would not teach prose, poetry, or technical writing for that matter. All very different formats so who is to say, at this point in time, how children should be writing in the clouds. Shouldn't we first figure out what we want them to write about and then determine the relevance of the format?

  5. I don't believe that everyone uses etiquette consistently when utilizing technology, but we are still evolving to the technology. The true key is to model the correct behaviors when encountering students. There is a definite blurring line with the use of text language in email or other written communication. I remember getting an email from an educator something along the lines of "going 2 be late" and other shorthand and wondering how she thought it was professional. I believe that we do need to address our students needs and align our expectations with each format and attempt to define the boundaries.

  6. • Do I use email, cell phone and instant messaging technologies appropriately when communicating with others?
    I use all of these tools to communicate with others, but the term appropriately is key. I will email parents, administrators, and other teachers at school. It is important though to always make sure that whatever you place in an email is PC and actually what you want to say, because a judge can subpoena those documents. Since our admin has BB now, they are not always reached in a timely fashion with email even though we know they get their email since they are checking their phones 24/7. However, I do carry my cell phone around wherever we go on campus so I can get a hold of the office or the admin on their cell phones if need be. I do not text message unless it is to a friend. A text message to me is a short and sweet message, something that requires a quick reply, not a long-winded conversation that should be done over the phone or in an email.

    • What rules, options, and etiquette do students need to be aware of when using digital communication technologies?
    Students need to be aware that there actions have positive and negative consequences. Although digital communication is on the forefront of today’s technology, there are a lot of hesitations among educators because of the instantaneous result of this type of communication. Rules would need to be created at the beginning of every year and parent involvement is also important. Parents would need to know that their child was needing to use their phone, email, etc in class, but that safe monitoring would need to be done on a regular basis.

  7. I like to think that as educators we do know the appropriate kinds of messaging between work and personal (I know some don't) and even though I text a lot to my friends, I still use long hand. Maybe as a language arts teacher, I have a hard time using LOL and all those other shorthand words. I do agree with Leah and Julie that we are losing the appropriate forms of writing and it really feels as if we are going too fast, need everything so quick, etc. that we don't have enough time for proper etiquette anymore!
    I think that students need a firm discipline plan when using their phones in the classroom because it becomes a fine line when they start using it incorrectly or cross the line. Bottom line for me, there needs to be accountability.

  8. I have such trouble with text as I am old school and find it very difficult to abbreviate everything to death - I am from the school of not using haven't - "if you are too lazy to write it out in full............. the nuns taught me and it stuck.

    What rules, options, and etiquette do students need to be aware of when using digital communication technologies?

    OMG - I am using wiki with my 8th graders and the utter trash that they write to each other is amazing. They are also shocked, shocked to find out that freedom of speech does not include trashing others, cussing, shouting, - if I read "just kidding" one more time and then they slam their BFF............. Yes they need lots of guidance .........!