You may have heard the rumors, but it’s actually true. Most kids have no idea how to use email.
So do we lament this and try to teach it? Or do we trust that it’ll become outdated before too long anyway?
If I had gotten my students on GoogleDocs, there wouldn’t have been a problem. I’ve had kids use GoogleDocs tons of times in the past, but I foolishly thought they would finish this particular project in the computer lab during one class period and be able to upload it to Edmodo right away. When it became clear that this wouldn’t happen, I had to decide between getting them all onto GoogleDocs for the first time (these were 9th graders) or telling them to email their documents to themselves.
I chose poorly.
The main problems were:
- I don’t have an email account. This is untrue. All students get a district email account, but many never use it.
- I can’t remember my password. This has also been a huge problem with my use of Edmodo. Maybe password creation and retention is a skill we should be teaching?
- I have no idea how to attach a document to an email. The most common problem, by far. But, like I said, maybe an outdated skill in 5 years?
I was reminded of this post from TeachPaperless: 21 Things That Will Become Obsolete in Education by 2020. Email isn’t on the list, but maybe it should be.