Try this: ask your students – say from age 14 and younger – whether or not they have their own email account. Not a school email account. Their own email account.
I bet you a large proportion of hands will stay down as more and more students rely on social networking almost exclusively for their communication. I bet you this proportion will only increase in the coming years.
Students simply don’t need their own email account any more. With the arrival of Open Authorisation, they don’t even need email to sign up to web services, they simply sign up to them using their social networking accounts.
Is this kind of social communication the future of communication? Will this generation of children embrace the likes of Facebook or Google + as their preferred means of communication in all spheres of their lives – for work as well as leisure?
In my experience, for most children, email is quickly going the way of CDs: it’s simply surplus to their requirements, it’s obsolete.
I wonder then, is it not our responsibility as teachers to teach our students to be proficient, not just in the use of the tools of the past, but also the tools of the future?
Just a thought.
What do you think?
Picture by Kenn Wilson