Sunday, February 8, 2009

Opportunity Revisted: Email Part 1

Opportunity is my professional development focus for 2009. I will examine various aspects of opportunity. Today, opportunity revisited is the topic. My first opportunity to revisit is EMAIL. Despite the problems with viruses and spam, it still remains a viable mode of electronic communication.

Email, or electronic mail has existed in various formats, since the mid-1960's, yet many people commonly using the internet today, began regularly sending and receiving emails in the 1990's.

When I took a non-scientific poll of my Professional Learning Network on Plurk, a series of common dates emerged: 1996, 1998 or more generally in the 1990's. Some used the earlier forms of email, as they had access to university or business related email systems. One was called ARPANET, later renamed NSFNET. Others created simple programs that allowed message sharing, sometimes known as email. All were actively using email by the beginning of the 21st Century.

When did you began using email?

7 comments:

On a limb with Claudia said...

1996 when I got online. I had a friend who used it and insisted on using it for all communication. I used it for communicating for about 3 years until my email was filled with spam and business ads. Bleck.

I don't anyone who uses email to communicate any more. It's become like those direct mail flyers you get in the mail. All ads or business.

Carol Skyring said...

1993 for me - I was working for govt then. I still use email but it's the 4th thing I check in the morning after (in this order) Plurk, Twitter, Facebook. I use all of these to communicate with colleagues around the world.

M Coleman said...

As I recall, it was introduced in our school system in 1996. Like others (especially the digital generation), it is not my preferred or 'first choice' form of communication, but it is still the expected one in our school.

Brent Jones said...

Schools are very different than most organizations. Email is not often used as the main way to communicate policy, do scheduling and make work assignments. Teachers are accustomed to face-to-face encounters and paper in mail boxes. Eventually this will be much more the norm in education. The current buzz of social interaction will be less used, or used in more casual, non-work related ways.

samccoy said...

Yes, many people don't use email, if they can avoid it...for very good reasons. IMHO, if you don't have to use email, you are wise to follow your communication strategy.

My purpose here is to explain how email CAN be used for people with limited resources, and to alert my PLN to the fact that many...no one knows how many because the FCC stopped tracking this during the Bush Administration, STILL ONLY HAVE DIAL-UP access to the internet.

BTW, I've been reading your book. It is very captivating. Thanks for sharing and writing so well.

samccoy said...

Carol, thanks for commenting. 1993 is about the time I started using email also.
I use email pretty much the way you do.

samccoy said...

Marie, that is what most groups with adequate internet bandwidth probably use email for: formal communication.

I know that I like using Outlook in a network, mostly for the tracking mechanism. If people don't read your messages, you can tell. That is important because some people are just not up to speed, so you have to make a f2f connection for housekeeping chores that could easily be taken care of through email.

Then the f2f becomes a professional development opportunity. You can provide a brief presentation on how to effectively and quickly process email.

People with poor bandwidth depend on email, because they can't use other networks like we do. Having the constant conversation drags their internet connection down and stalls everything.